Friday, October 31, 2008

All Hallow's Even and a little odd....

It's amazing how a religious devotion, a commemoration and remembrance really, evolved into an all-the-candy-you-can-eat-without-barfing exercise all the way to an adult party hearty event. Greetings and salutations nevertheless.

There was an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain that some sociologists theorize 19th century Irish immigrants brought with them that helped create our current observance/holiday/day on which to go gluttonous on chocolate. It certainly caught on in the United States, except in Sprague, CT (and don't forget to check out the reader feedback-somewhere a Literacy Volunteer weeps). And speaking of 'caught', if it weren't for bad luck, some of us would have no luck at all in terms of interaction with local authorities.

Halloween is celebrated in about a dozen countries around the world, gladdening the hearts, I'm sure, of candy manufacturers in the days leading up to it as well as the bottom lines of dentists in the days and weeks following it. Alas, poor Linus, I knew him well. We can always content ourselves that Strongbad doesn't do candy, I guess. Did you have Trick or Treat for UNICEF in your neighborhood? Sign of the times now, I fear, I haven't seen or heard about it in years and years

Remember how our Moms used to go through the goodies making sure that the apples didn't have unpleasant surprises and throwing all the unwrapped candy away 'just to be safe'. Would it have killed them to pretend the Mary Janes were unwrapped (talk about a dentist delight-it could take fillings out)--a candy that I don't think I even see at any other time of the year except now. And what about candy corn (and I loved it, btw)? If scientists are correct that cockroaches would survive an atomic war, I believe they would do it munching on candy corn, indestructible, indescribable, often imitated but never duplicated. One of the many things I surrendered once my doctors made me understand, as a an adult, I couldn't be a part-time diabetic. And I miss it more than I can say.

As a parent I can recall some of the worst weather of the season always seemed to start about two hours before the kids got organized to head out. So I'll keep my fingers crossed for all the goblins tonight. And every child, no matter how young, wanted to trick or treat with her/his friends. Only a baby goes out with a parent. So with a heavy heart and a quiet footstep the trick was to figure out how far back to trail them as they went from house to house and no matter how many times a child was told 'no running', what happened? Yep. Why was I always surprised when mine paid as much attention to me as I had to my parents? And every neighborhood had a trick or treater without a bag-usually one of the hyper active kids from down the street who ate the candy as quickly as he got it. Can you imagine how much magic it was in that house later that same evening? Me neither.

My own children long ago outgrew the doorbell ringing and candy-collecting aspects of the evening and we don't even even play anymore at my house. But the Dream Children and ghosts of ghouls past sometimes encounter one another on my porch when "Open, locks, Whoever knocks!"
-bill kenny

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