There’s a lot to love about October. Aside from high school and college football, the month has much to offer. The colors alone are worth the price of admission. If you don’t believe me, take a …
There’s a lot to love about October. Aside from high school and college football, the month has much to offer. The colors alone are worth the price of admission. If you don’t believe me, take a walk in the woods and “see” for yourself. But there are also some great festivals in October. And then there’s Halloween
Halloween was one of my favorite holidays as a kid. It was right up there with Christmas. Back when I was trick or treating, we didn’t buy our costumes. One year I decided on an old pair of overalls and a plaid flannel shirt. A red bandana tied around my head seemed just the ticket. Using fireplace soot, I made a black patch around my right eye. I thought the getup was a great pirate costume, but none of the other kids “got it.”
The houses in our community didn’t do much decorating like people do today, but they all had candy. The candy in those days was made with real sugar. My bags were full enough after that night to keep a sugar buzz until Thanksgiving.
After Jilda and I married, we became one of those houses where kids hit the candy jackpot. We bought candy by the bushel. On Halloween during the ‘80s and early ‘90s, our doorbell jangled like a bluegrass banjo. The next morning, our candy bags were empty. Except, of course, the handful of Mary Jane candy that I held back. I love Mary Janes. It’s one of my favorite pieces of candy. I once lost a tooth while eating that tacky stuff. But it was worth it.
These days we buy a little candy, but we end up giving most of it to our great nephew, who lives next door.
A few years ago, Halloween fell on Saturday. My nephew, James, asked if we’d do a birthday weeny roast for his son, Stone. Stone was born on Halloween and it’s haunted him all his life. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.) We agreed. And a tradition was born.
Each year toward the end of October, we have an outdoor party. Some people dress up, but most just show up for the food and fun.
We pull out all our lawn chairs and benches so that our friends and family can sit around the campfire. There’s no better aroma than hickory and oak wood burning on a small fire.
A few years ago, we did a hayride for the kids. My nephew, Haven, has a tractor and a large trailer. We filled the trailer with bales of hay and a herd of kids. The adults with good knees jumped on the trailer to help supervise the ride. Haven pulled us around the property. Most of the kids had never been on a hayride. Before the ride was over, he drove the tractor under the apple tree in our field. Each kid had a chance to pick their own apple from the tree.
Through the years, Halloween has gotten a bad rap. A few mean people tainted candy and hurt some kids. Evil has no conscience. Churches also became vocal about the spooky holiday. Something about celebrating Pagan holidays, but I’m not sure what all the fuss is about.
All I know is that I never once thought I was turning my back on the Good Lord when I was stuffing my face with Halloween candy.
Rick Watson is a columnist and author. His latest book, “Life Goes On,” is available on Amazon.com. You can contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.