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Halloween in the ‘hood (11/02/2011)
By Frances Edstrom

We went back to the old neighborhood and old house for Halloween, John’s favorite holiday. The new place doesn’t lend itself to trick or treaters, being at the end of a long drive, and there are precious few kids in the neighborhood to begin with.

But back we went to the old place, turned up the heat and sat down with our books waiting for the first “Trick or Treat” to be heard from the front door. John had put out the jack o’lanterns, carved over the weekend with the grandchildren. There had been a rather complex discussion between the two-year-olds and the five-year-old as to which of the jack o’lanterns was “scawwy.” “Dat one’s scawwy.” “No, dat one’s scawwy.” “Dat not scawwy.” But they wanted them lit again and the lights turned down. They even wanted them lit in the morning light of the kitchen.

On Saturday morning, we heard Cassidy’s car come up the drive and went out to meet them. But she waved us away, saying that someone was coming to trick or treat us at our front door.

We waited until we heard Harry’s little voice, threw open the door, and exclaimed over the raccoon that had come to our door wanting a treat. (Raccoon courtesy of Harry’s other grandma, the creative one!) Harry seemed quite pleased that we thought he was a raccoon (“It’s me,” he shared, just so we wouldn’t think he hadn’t shown up).

Saturday night Peyton and Andie came to stay over night, as their parents partied with friends. They and Harry ate spaghetti that Morgan had brought, so we fed them first. The pheasant pot pie that I made was late into the oven, too late for little stomachs, but when we sat down to eat our pot pie and salad, the kids had ice cream, and everyone was remarkably happy!

Soon the kids were off in bed, and Cass, Angie and I sat down to watch “Bridesmaids,” while John prepared to leave at dawn for hunting. Next morning, there were the usual fights over the cereal. What can there possibly be to fight over, except that Andie just feels feisty in the morning, and likes to ramp up the atmosphere a little. After noon brunch at Dan and Morgan’s, Harry was whisked away by his parents, and I went home to rest.

Monday after work I gathered up the candy, the candles, matches. John grabbed the carved pumpkins, and off we went to the Halloween house of our lives, our old house. Our neighbor Jerry said that in the future we can always come to his house on Halloween if the wrench is too great when the house is sold. He might have wanted to run that past the rest of his family!

The doorbell rang, and the knocker knocked, and the first trick or treaters were there. There was a steady stream, a little lull, and then it started again. Except this time I noticed that there were some repeats.

“Hey,” I said, “you were just here!” “Yeah,” they acknowledged. As they went down the steps, I heard one say to an incoming haunt, “She lets you take as many as you want!” No wonder!

As the night wore down, a couple of the “regulars” came by, one whose children, who used to come to the door for years and years, and actually serenaded us on many occasions, are well out of the game, and another, whose oldest was just too cool to come along this year.

So, pack it all up, take it to the new house. But of course since there were still a few little bite-sized Butterfingers left in the bowl, I had to snarf a few down before hopping into bed.  


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