Happy Hallowe’en!

Jack-o-Lantern - Great Horned Owl with mouse

Happy Hallowe’en, everyone! I’m recycling a jack-o-lantern photo from a couple of years ago, as we didn’t do one this year. It’s a Great Horned Owl (or supposed to be), with a mouse, which I’d carved for an owl-related event at the bird research station in Toronto.

We had no trick-or-treaters this evening. I didn’t really expect any, but I bought a small bag of chocolates just in case. We’re the very last house on a dead-end street that is sparsely populated to begin with, and I think there’s only one home with kids along its length, which is up near the crossroad. Rural homes, at least where I’ve lived, tend to get considerably fewer kids coming around, simply because the density of children in the area is lower. Most years my dad would drive us from house to house, and the three of us would pile out of the car and go up and ring the doorbell. For some houses it was the only time of the year we had any interaction with the residents, but you got to know most of them. This is the house that gives out cans of pop, that one has FULL SIZED chocolate bars, that one has homemade fudge, that one’s the dentsit’s and he gives you a toothbrush with your sugar-free gum, and that one gives you apples, yuk, don’t bother with there. The thing about our little rural community is that you could trust the apples and homemade fudge.

The upside to trick-or-treating in the rural areas is that you got to pop back in the car between houses, so you didn’t really get cold as you would if you had to walk through the neighbourhood. Also, because each house only got a few cars of kids, you could expect to receive generous amounts of handouts at each stop, particularly if you arrived later in the evening after the homeowners had given up on getting anyone but still had a big bowl of candy left. I recall one year my parents took us in to town to trick-or-treat, probably because we had a notion that with so many more houses in town, your haul would be doubled, but it ended up that we came home with about the same amount of loot, just cold and tired after having done twice the work.

My mom was very good behind the pedal of a sewing machine, and for several years made our costumes herself. If and when I have kids, I hope to do that also – they’re just so much more personal than one bought from a store. Raven’s the only youngster I’ve got right now. I briefly toyed with the idea of dressing her up and taking her around from house to house, not for the candy but just to meet people, which she’d looove. Instead, I pulled out a few pieces of old clothing and dressed her up as a Parisian artist. If I’d been thinking ahead, I would’ve done so during daylight hours when the light was better for photos…

Raven on Hallowe'en as Parisian artist

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8 responses to “Happy Hallowe’en!

  1. Where I grew up, there were still a few households that would give out fruit, but I never saw homemade fudge. I’m not sure how well that would have gone over (with parents, not us). This was in a suburban area.

    • We happened to know the woman who gave out the fudge; I’m not sure what my parents would have done if it had been from someone we didn’t know. That said, the stories about poisons and razor blades in treats all post-date my trick-or-treating years.

  2. I have Lab grand-dogs, and they love to dress up, too. One year, I did a calendar illustrated with pix of them in various costumes. Raven is beautiful.

    • That would have been a fun calendar, Marge! Labs are such amiable dogs. Raven is half-lab, half-border collie, and we think she’s just the perfect combination of the best traits of both.

  3. Raven looks so – so Renoir! She even posed with an artist air about her. .

  4. The owl/mouse pumpkin is most impressive.

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