Happy Day of the Dead” doesn’t sound right for some reason, though for those who celebrate it, I’m sure it is a grand occasion. Ignorant as I am, with such strong Protestant beginnings, I had never heard of it. My religious grandmother even refused to admit that the Irish side of our family probably were Catholic.
My first recollection of Halloween was dressing in a Dutch Girl costume at the age of 7 and offering my handmade paper basket to a neighbor to drop some candy in. There was probably only room for a piece or two of penny candy but I thought it great fun to be out at night and knocking on someone’s door. I don’t remember anyone giving me candy, so I think I simply knocked and ran.
Living in so many places afterward, I was never able to do this again, and I don’t remember any costumed urchins coming to our houses either, so Halloween was never a big deal in our house. My father loved to tell stories of his youth in Grants Pass, Oregon, when tricks such as tipping outhouses over were performed. I don’t think candy was involved.
When my children arrived, Halloween became a much awaited holiday, and the making of costumes fell to me. As the years went by, the costumes became more elaborate, and not to be left out, I found myself in the spirit of the season.
My idea of a Halloween outfit leaned toward the Frankenstein rather than beauty, and my neighbor and I had far too much fun frightening small tricksters.
One of my daughters loved Halloween so much, and I felt bad for her the year she became ill and couldn’t join the others on the street. Eventually she dressed in her costume and sat on a table in front of a large window where children who came onto our porch could watch her and wonder if she was real or not.
Our house is situated so that in forty-two years no one has come to collect booty, however I carefully choose large bags of candy to hand out, making sure they are the kind we like just in case. This morning I bagged them back up and put them in the freezer. I know from experience that they will last until sometime in February.