maarmie's musings

Friday, November 02, 2012


Halloween was one of the holidays we celebrated as a family when my brother and I were young. I used to love going out door to door that one time of year, my parents standing at the road and my brother and I traipsing from doorway to doorway in pursuit of massive amounts of treats.

Need I say here that my parents are highly regimented, both in their behaviours and in their choice of activities. If something isn't planned two months in advance, it doesn't happen. And I grew up with my parents doing and saying the same things every night from the time I can remember until I moved out of the house. Special occasions - holidays - were out of the norm, exotic...different. It wasn't just come home from school, eat an apple, watch TV, parents get home and drink a glass of iced tea and change into their home clothes and make and eat dinner before switching off for the night in front of the TV. Halloween nights involved my brother and I in their evenings, the four of us together doing something, and I savour the memories.

I was a hobo for Halloween one year, but I don't remember any other costumes. I don't remember any of my brother's costumes, either, except for the one he wore when he was 16 or so and going out on his own with friends in a ninja outfit with nunchucks and prowling around people's gardens only to have the cops called on him and be forced to call my dad from the police station. But that was a different time altogether.

On these nights, when we were young, when we lived at the apartment complex near Tampa Bay, there were millions of kids out scouring the streets on Halloween nights. And every Halloween that we went prowling, every door opened, and every person gave yummy treats. My brother and I were focussed on the other kids, the next door, the next treat, so we didn't have great family conversation on these nights. But it was nice to all go out together, our parents waiting by the street for us to return. To be having their attention for a good part of the evening. And on to the next door. And the next.

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