unicorn quest

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Childhood Halloween

Why did I love Halloween so much as a child?

Let me tell you, it wasn't just the candy.

Like all kids, I loved the chance to stay up late, I loved to be scared, but safe at the same time, with my mom and my little sister close by. I loved dressing up.

But strangely enough, one of my favorite parts of the holiday was the chance to peek inside other people's houses. All year long I'd walk to school, play in the neighborhood, look at the outsides of these houses and wonder what went on inside, what kind of furniture they had, what pets. (Can you tell that even then I was a budding writer???)

One of my favorite encounters was with the neighborhood "witch." She was an old lady with bushy grey hair who lived in a pink stucco house at the end of the street. Because she didn't come out much, and probably because when she did, she didn't comb her hair, we kids decided she had to be a witch. We'd take the long way around her house, and kind of duck down to avoid being seen. If our ball fell into her yard, we'd make a running foray to grab it and then run away just as fast as possible. She had only loose, dry sand, and straggly cactuses growing in her yard, further discouraging kids from coming around.

One Halloween we were brave enough to knock on her door--with our mom along of course. The inside of her house turned out to be well-lit, and decorated with colorful knick-knacks of the 1960s variety, such as giant plastic grapes on the coffee table, and harlequins hanging in the kitchen. She beamed at us, and instead of candy, gave us giant shellacked red and black cutouts of sleeping Mexicans in sombreros, which we promptly took home and put up on our bedroom walls.

The next day, while trading candy and telling tales of our adventures with all the other kids, we made the big announcement that the lady at the end of the block was not, in fact, a witch. Some refused to believe it, but some vowed to go trick or treating to her house next year.

Hope you all make some spooky new friends this year!

I will be hitting the costume and karaoke parties in town, possibly with a band of boy and girl pirates in tow.

More Halloween adventures coming soon! Boo!


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