"I know for sure that everything in life happens to help us live."
Oprah Winfrey

Wednesday, September 14

Things that go bump in the night...

Halloween will be here soon. All the little ghosts and goblins... and a few teens who haven't quite let go yet... will be bumping on the door, scaring the bejeebers out of the cats and thrusting their pumpkins, pillowcases, or bags out for a sweet treat.

They come in pairs or groups of four or five, babbling excitedly about what they got at the last house and wondering what they'll get at ours. Sometimes one lone little one will timidly tap and shyly utter, "trick or treat." Then they'll run back to a waiting mommy or daddy proudly squealing, "I did it, I did it." Just darling.

I suppose it's a sure sign of growing old when you start comparing the goings on of today versus those "when I was a kid " days. It's hard not to sometimes. I feel kind of bad for the trick and treaters of today; I think they miss out on a lot.

I did my trick or treating in my hometown of Washington, DC. We'd start as soon as it got dusky dark and didn't stop until our bags were full. Then we'd take 'em home, dump 'em, and go out and fill 'em up again. We went all over our block and then we'd start hitting the other nearby blocks. Even apartment houses. Jeez, it was fun! Nobody yelled about non-neighborhood kids. That's what Halloween was all about... kids on the streets trick or treating and having fun. We didn't have to worry about some freak snatching us or some sick bastard tampering with the candy or sticking needles or razor blades in apples. Even in DC. People looked out for the kids on the streets.

Around here, it's very structured. They start at something like 7:00pm and end at 8:00 or some such. We turn the porch light on so they know they can knock on our door. In some places they've banned trick or treating altogether and have Halloween parties instead. I have to make absolutely sure any candy I give is already packaged or individually wrapped. No cookies or brownies or loose candy. Speaking of which, whatever happened to candy corn? Is it even still around?

I understand the need for extra diligence and care in the world we live in now. I do. And I agree that sadly, it's become necessary. All in all, though? I'm glad I was a kid when I was a kid.


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