As is the case with snow, not everyone shares my love for Halloween. I am fortunate to have wonderful memories of so many Halloweens back on the farm.
Not long after the Thanksgiving turkey leftovers were gone, we started to plan our costumes; they were homemade, of course, items that were thrown together: wigs, old coats, walking canes, you name it! We always did OK.
Some years I’d wish we lived in the city where my friends would brag about filling pillowcases with candy. Halloween wasn’t quite that lucrative in the country. There were very few homes, long lanes and big dogs. When we were very young, mom would drive us around, usually to about a half dozen homes.
There was one lady, a few concessions over, who made amazing fudge. She lived down a very long lane and had a big dog that barked a lot. My sister was afraid of the dog and didn’t get out of the car. The dog’s bark was worse than his bite, so every year I went to the door alone and got some of that delicious fudge. Every year mom would make me share my fudge with my sister …that was “the right thing to do.” To this day, I never told mom or my sister Monique that Mme Theoret gave me some fudge for her too.
There was another stop along the way that was unique: a lovely family who would only hand out treats if we sang a song or did a trick for them. We planned ahead for that one.
We were fortunate to have a lovely small church on our concession. Most years, the Oeggerli boys – from a few farms down – would hide along the cemetery fence and when we got close, they would jump up and down on the rusty page wire. The loud squeaking sound was quickly drowned out by our screams as we ran back towards the farm as quickly as our legs would take us. They got us every year.
My fondest Halloween memory was born from a change in the weather. Monique and I had decided on our costumes and mom had put them together beautifully: a scary witch and a lovely princess. The day before Halloween, an early snowstorm hit the area. We were both so upset; not only was it white but very cold, too! How could we go trick-or-treating with our costumes? We couldn’t put a coat on over them! Not a problem for my clever mom. She got out our snowsuits, cut some large patches of fabric and sewed them onto the suit. She then stuffed a long tail, made ears for the hood and voila! We were the warmest cats in Glengarry county.
I wish everyone a happy, safe Halloween… filled with moments you will recall many years down the road. If you’re still fortunate enough to have your mom, give her a call and thank her for the memories.