Halloween Memories

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Our neighborhood is somewhat isolated and it seriously limits the number of kids we get for Halloween. Actually, most years, it is just any kids that live in the neighborhood who decide to go out. Last year, of course, we had zero. This year, it was just one father with his three kids.

And we always buy way too much candy because I don’t want to run out and I guess I’m just an eternal optimist. I mean one day people are going to discover us and the kids will come in flocks – right? There is a bigger neighborhood just to the west and sidewalks so it could happen. Except that our neighborhood has no street lights so it is dark and most of the homes sit way back from the road so it is a bit of a hike.

I mean our driveway is a challenge – long and steep. I do have assorted Halloween lights out and we have other lights to make it more welcoming but it is still a hike. Plus, you walk down hill to get to our house meaning that you’d have to turn around and walk back up. From a kid (and parent) perspective, the cost probably doesn’t outweigh the benefit so we get a handful each year.

I can’t remember exactly when my brother and I were turned loose to trick or treat on our own. He probably would since he’s better with dates. Our older brother was usually too cool to be seen with us and had plans with his friends. But it did get to a point where we were just let out the door with an approximate time to be back.

And we roamed the streets. It was kind of a challenge to see just how far we could actually get. After all, you never know what goodies might be awaiting in the next block. I know that back in the day, we would have hit a neighborhood like ours. Maybe the last stop but it would definitely be on the list. I suppose it did depend on the weather. I’m sure we had some crappy ones but I tend to remember just the good ones when it was maybe a little chilly but otherwise clear and not that bad to be out.

You can say things were different back then. Maybe they were or maybe those things just didn’t get noticed and we were more innocent about the world. Don’t get me wrong, we had all the urban legends about razor blades in apples and poisoned candy. Of course, back in the day, you couldn’t go on the internet to debunk anything. It was always something that someone swore they saw on the news.

Truth be told – I kind of secretly wanted to find something in an apple. I mean it would be kind of cool. Actually, the apples never made it back to the house. Who wants an apple? My mom would have apples around but she never had candy. We’d typically wait a discrete distance and then just slam the apples into the road to see how many pieces we could create.

Things that wouldn’t happen today also included one house that was famous for serving cider and giving out home made popcorn balls. We didn’t really know them since they were in the next neighborhood over but we never thought twice about drinking what they provided. I mean it would have been rude to have turned them down. Yes, times have changed.

I guess I’ve now reached an age where I trot out the “back in my day” stories. I don’t know if anyone would even consider allowing their kids to just roam free on Halloween. I don’t even remember if we had set times. Maybe we did but any home with a porch light was fair game while we were out. Certainly, we didn’t stay out that late since most years the next day was a school day. But it was much more unstructured and free back then. I think it was better.

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