Friday, October 29, 2010

It was a dark and stormy night...

I'm linking up over at Mocha with Linda for today's Flashback Friday. The theme is Halloween memories...

Halloween was celebrated in our house when I was growing up but we didn't go overboard. We had parties and parades at school but it was really all about the candy for my sister and I. We did have a jack o lantern and I guess we helped with the creating but I sort of remember my dad doing that and us just watching. We probably helped scoop out the seeds but he enjoyed making a scary face and putting a lot of detail into the actual carving. My mom would attempt to get us to eat something nutritious for an early dinner and then we grabbed our big pillowcases and were off.

We usually bought a costume or came up with something from our dress up box which was extensive. I grew up in NJ and the weather was always a challenge. You had to consider that you might need a parka over your outfit or at the very least a rain jacket. One memory in the costume department really stands out...I think I was nine the year I dressed in a Japanese costume which I'm sure is very non-PC now but honestly it was a beautiful gold kimono with a sort of geisha type mask over my face. When I was a kid a costume was not complete unless it had one of those horrible plastic masks that covered your face and was held together with a piece of elastic that wrapped around your head so tightly that your hair hurt all the way down to the roots by nights end. The mask made your face sweat and sat so close to your skin it was hard to breathe and then had tiny slits for eye holes so you could barely see where you were walking. Safety back in 1970 wasn't quite what it is today folks.

Anyway, I had some shoes that were a velvety flip flop style on top with wooden soles that clip clopped when you walked. My dad brought them back from Japan so I was feeling very authentic. The problem was the kimono wrapped very tightly around my legs which meant I had to take very small steps when I walked. My sister was a year younger than me and my brother was five years older so he was the lucky one assigned trick or treat duty. He had a friend who lived on the next street over and we used to avoid walking in front of this particular house on regular days because the family had a great big German Shepherd that barked like there was no tomorrow. But my brother knew the boy so naturally he had us stop there for trick or treating. And do you know, as we were stepping down off of the porch that big giant German Shepherd came barreling out of the house right at me and I tried to run in my very tight around the ankle kimono while wearing wooden soled velvet flip flop style shoes and I did a face plant on the sidewalk. I also developed a fear of German Shepherds that stayed with me for a long long time. Until I was 26 years old in fact and we adopted a mutt that had been abandoned in our neighborhood. A mutt that looked suspiciously like a German Shepherd. I learned to love a German Shepherd.

With my own children the hubs was in charge of trick or treat duty and I stayed home and doled out the loot. When my girls were toddlers we lived in North Jersey. Our neighborhood was really dark and hilly so hubs got quite the workout pushing a double stroller up and down the mountain that was our street. We moved to Maryland during their elementary school years and lived in a neighborhood with cul de sacs and lots of kids. Halloween was a very social thing and the dads used to take the kids around in a big group and again, for my kids, it was all about the candy. There were parties and parades at their school and we carved pumpkins (usually outside with Dad in charge because that's best). And of course part of the Halloween fun was dumping all the candy out afterwards for inspection and to make trades and so hubs and I could see what we might want to eat once they'd gone to bed for the night. Sorry girls!

Last year I wrote a post detailing a very funny incident that occurred around Halloween one year. It involved daughter2 because she and crazy mishap know each other well. You can read that post here if you're so inclined.

In Linda's prompt she did ask two very important questions-

"Do you like candy corn?"
and "What is your favorite Halloween candy?"

I like candy corn as long as I don't overindulge. However I am lacking in self discipline so if a bowl filled with candy corn is sitting in front of me I generally end up eating a few too many. My new favorite way to eat candy corn is to mix it with a jar of peanuts. Tastes just like a Payday which, as it happens, is my favorite candy bar.

Have a safe and happy Halloween weekend everyone!


  1. What fun memories! I am so glad to see we were not the only parents that checked over the candy not only for safety issues but to see what you might want after they went to bed. lol Hope you have a fun weekend!
    until next time... nel

  2. Great story. I love me some candy corn too. Thanks for sharing. Have a fabulous weekend. Blessings, SusanD

  3. Hope you are doing well. Sorry, I have not visited recently. I am so behind on my blog reading. Not enough hours in the day, is there? My children loved to come in from Trick or Treating and sort all their candy by types and see how much they got of each. They were sweet to share with me! My favorite candy bars are Heath bars and Almond Joy. Butterfinger is right in there too. Can you tell I have a chocolate thing going on? I too, like candy corn, but have not bought any this year. Like you, I would eat it all if I had it sitting around. Hope you have a great weekend. I have family coming this weekend, as we are all going to be here to celebrate with my Dad. He is going with 104 WW II Veterans on Saturday to Washington, DC on a Flight of Honor Trip. It will be a very emotional day for him (and us too). Take care. Love & blessings from NC!

  4. So glad you overcame your fear of German Shepherds and helped a dog in need.

    As for 70's costumes, our kids really don't know how lucky they are (yeah, I'm old to say that). I remember how the costumes used to come in boxes with the masks on top. We used to get ours at woolworth's drug store.

    Candy cane is a yes and I feel compelled to grab one or two almost every time I walk past the required bowl that sits out. It's not Halloween without it.

  5. Loved your memories. I can imagine how traumatic the dog incident was! Your description of the elastic backed masks cracked me up!

    I had forgotten about kids collecting their candy in pillowcases until I've read it on a couple of blogs today. I finally gave away my plastic jack-o-lantern bucket a year or two ago!

  6. I absolutely love the peanuts & candy corn mix! What great memories! I think it's so sad that the kids today won't know what it's like to run around the neighborhood for trick or treat.
    I usually did trick or treat with the kids, mostly because I'm a control freak and he wouldn't do it right! ;)

  7. Yep, thats the ONLY way to eat Candy Corn for me!
    I'm not a fan of Halloween but that didn't stop me from getting the kids ready for it and yes, also "borrowing" from their loot. :)

  8. I'm back...I just hopped over and read the incident that happened to daughter2. Oh my! I'm sure everyone had some BIG eyes! Daughter2 sounds alot like my oldest son...
    By the way, would you mind telling me how to do those hiden links that you do in your posts--like the daughter2 story? I've searched on how to do it, but no luck. I get tired of typing the complete link in my posts. Thanks...and again, have a great weekend! Kathy

  9. Candy corn was my moms favorite candy too. I'm going to have to try mixing it with peanuts, sounds yummy.

  10. I have good memories of Halloween. So looong ago. :)
    Over here they don´t celebrate this holiday, so I enjoy reading about it in the blogs.
    Have a good Halloween!

  11. Ohmygoodness...I actually mentioned the uncomfortable masks in my Flashback Friday post! I talked about the elastic band, but I had forgotten about the sweatiness. SOOO true!

    Really enjoyed your memories...stop by mine when you get a moment!

  12. Love your Halloween memories. I have an aunt who was very good at "doing" Halloween. She would fill a large galvanized wash tub with water and we would bob for apples. I got quite good at it.

  13. Your kimono story had me laughing! I love candy corn and peanuts mixed to and I just figured out what it reminded me of when you said Payday!

  14. Fun memories! I love candy corn but I haven't tried it with peanuts...yet! lol

  15. I was watching kids try on costumes at the party store recently and one of them had a mask that looked like those from the 70's. The mother was horrified. "Who would put one of those on their kid?"

    I wanted to raise my hand and say, "My mom!"

    Ah well, we all lived to tell about it, huh?

  16. LOL to the masks that pulled your hair...I was there!!!

    I am not a big candy corn eater but I do love the Reeses Halloween Pumpkins!!!! They are THE BEST!!!!!

  17. I remember those masks well and they were so hot! It was either those or a full head rubber mask which were equally as hot and sweaty! Fun memories, thanks!