It’s mid October and I’m starting to see spooky things! I’ve been driving through wispy fog for a week now, just before dawn, no thicker than ghost breath – creepy! Pumpkins glow eerily along sidewalks, even at 7 in the morning, smiling their gummy smiles below empty eye sockets. The kids on my bus are excited about the upcoming fun, talking about costumes, candy and a party at the church. My favorite things at this time of year are the clothes, the fall colors, that would last for months if it was up to me, and chilly mornings with warm afternoons, but, sadly, I’ve lost whatever childhood magic the so-called holiday once held.
Not that all my Halloween memories are good! Pumpkin carving was always fun. Dad would bring a big fat one home, and we’d discuss what kind of face to put on it after he hollowed it out. It was a fun, messy occasion. The faces were simple then, as were our costumes. My main memory of costumes though, after being fun to think about and put on, was that they were a pain in the neck for a little kid on the dark streets of Phoenix. My earliest memory is of a Tweetie Bird costume with a big, plastic mask that didn’t stay put, and I kept tripping because the mask’s eyes didn’t line up with mine. It was easy to trip over the folds of a ghost sheet, too, and end up on your face in someone’s lawn. One year I was a princess. I don’t remember what I wore but I remember my magic wand, a glow-in-the-dark stick with a star on one end. I dropped it somewhere and lost it! I was very upset. Lucky for me I saw its glow in the middle of a dark street and rescued it. Today it hangs on my bulletin board and still glows that pale, green light!
It was safe then to go door to door. I’m lucky to have my memories, good and bad, tromping around in the dark with siblings and friends, begging sweets from neighbors and enjoying the loot for weeks.