Ghosts Of Halloween Past

Halloween has changed so much through the years. Not the concept, but definitely the treats and sometimes the tricks. I woke up last Saturday morning to find that half of our yard (the neighbor’s half) had been “forked”. About 200 white plastic forks were sticking up in the yard. Forget the toilet paper, we got forks!

Today, I am reminded of my Halloweens of the past, when I was a young girl. Our costumes were always homemade, well not always, but I remember the homemade ones the best. It was usually mayhem down in the basement laundry room, with my brothers, getting dressed and putting on our faces for a spooky night of Trick or Treating on the streets of Delton, MI. We lived on the edge of town, so it was a veritable gold mine of candy on the way to town. We always walked (even in the rain). One year, I was Cinderella’s Fairy God Mother, right down to the magic wand. Somewhere between our house and town I lost the star, which was a cardboard cutout star wrapped in tin foil. I was quite proud of it and equally upset when I noticed it was missing from the wooden dowel it was thumb tacked to. Oh for some Krazy glue.

Then there was the year I dressed up as a Hobo. I borrowed my little brother’s striped railroad engineer hat, under protest, wore bib overalls, and put some things in a handkerchief and tied it to a stick. A pretty convincing hobo, I thought. Well that year evidently there were a lot hobo’s. When we got to Ila Francisco’s house, she accused me of being there before and would not give me any candy. I was heart-broken.

We’d get home and go through our loot. The good stuff was always the candy bars (full size back then), there were always popcorn balls and apples too. That was before we worried about what sickos do nowadays. There would be a candy swap and we would eat a few choice morsels and go to bed.

I remember looking forward to Halloween. There was something almost magical about walking the streets in the dark, under the stars, trying to guess who was who in their costumes.

If this post causes some of you to go down memory lane and talk about those memories with your friends or loved-ones, then I have accomplished my goal. For you see, I don’t think any of us do that enough. We are too busy worrying about things that we cannot change or doing mundane tasks that do not make any memories.

‘Tis A Gift

Once again, after attending Mass yesterday, I am prompted to write about what the choir sang. Their music adds so much to our liturgy every Sunday at 10:00. They sang a version of “Simple Gifts” based on a song by Elder Joseph Brackett, Jr..

Even though his version was written in 1848, it still rings true today. Perhaps even truer. It’s hard to imagine that everything was not simple back then; how often do we long for a simpler life? These days our lives are so complicated. Running around, working, taking the kids to soccer, committee meetings, homework, volunteering and the list goes on. I am not suggesting we go back to the days of life in the mid-19th century, but what I am suggesting is to maybe be a little less materialistic.

Yes, this from the woman who had to have a BMW or Lexus motor vehicle to haul her real estate clients around in. Or a different house every two or three years. (Strictly for investment purposes?!) We could afford the payments, so why not? Well I will tell you why not.

You are not saving for your retirement, not taking time for the important things. Spend, spend, spend. Perhaps things have changed now since the crash of 08. I know they have for us.
But anyway, I digress. Simplicity is a gift from God. “The gift”. An ability to be happy with what you have. Thankful for what you have and not constantly competing for more. Free.

These last five years out here in God’s country have given me time to think and to shed a lot of material possessions. Going back to Chicago, my load, as well as my heart, will be much lighter.