My sister, Lindsay, sent an old Halloween photo my way this week. I assume she found it in an old drawer or box in our childhood home. She lives there now and I imagine the treasures she’ll continue to find will be just as glorious as this photo from 1985.
In the picture, I was 4 years old; she was 6, which would explain why I have troubles remembering the costume. I was wearing one of those plastic masks with the dreadful rubber band on back that slapped your face if not adjusted properly.
You might remember those.
To complete my outfit I adorned a plastic cover which resembled the body of Cookie Monster. I remember Cookie Monster, of course. Don’t we all? We only had three television channels in our home, and Sesame Street was seldom missed.
The costume is tough to recall but the location in which the photo was taken will forever be in my memory. We were standing in my grandma’s living room. Not far from the couch where grandma and I watched Wheel of Fortune. Not far from the table where grandma and I played UNO. And not far from the candy jar which held peppermints and butterscotch candies.
In the photo, the kitchen looked smaller and older than my memory recalls. But then, I suppose most things are grander through the eyes of a child; including Halloween — at grandma’s house.
Each year Lindsay and I started our journey at her home. We met there first, prepping our candy bags for a night of treats. We had our favorite homes; the ones that gave out homemade popcorn balls and full sized chocolate bars. Some friendly souls even let us into their living room to warm our hands before venturing back out to hunt for more candy, something frowned upon these days. The house with the full sized pop was always a destination on our route, but we had to get there before the older kids as they always depleted the stash.
We avoided the houses with the black and orange candy. What were those things called? We just called them gross. That’s a way to ruin a girls’ Halloween. Some people could say the same about pencils but I did a little happy dance any time I saw someone throw a cat pencil in my bag.
“Candy will just rot your teeth! You should have a pencil instead.”
Sounds good to me! Throw another in there!
We ended our night back at grandma’s house. Lindsay and I would dump our treats onto the living room floor. Dad would search for chocolate to eat. We threw away the orange and black candy and immediately devoured the caramel apples and popcorn balls.
It was good to be a kid in small town America.
This Friday, Lindsay and I will go trick-or-treating again. She’s coming to town with her kids, ages 5 and 3. They will hang out with my two girls, ages 6 and 4. We’ll start the adventure at my home and hit up every house in the neighborhood. The kids will wear expensive costumes from a big box store and we’ll wear something from our Halloween box. There won’t be any plastic masks or popcorn balls. But If we’re lucky, there will be full-sized chocolate bars, Halloween pencils, cans of pop and enough memories made to last for years.
Here’s wishing you and yours a fantastic Halloween full of excitement, laughter and a very small supply of orange and black candy.