Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween and a delightfully soggy day

An angel and a wolf
Photos by Katherine Smith

Halloween in my neighborhood is amazing. I live in an inner city neighborhood in Fort Worth, Texas, and we get over a thousand trick-or-treaters. The streets are jammed with cars and pedestrians. Special ambulance crews bring disabled children to trick or treat, and I’ve heard that some churches bus students here.

My neighbors, Jay and Susan, have established a tradition of Halloween on their porch. They buy bags and bags of candy, invite a few neighbors, and serve delicious stew—this year ladled over colcannon, an Irish dish of mashed potatoes and cabbage. It was wonderful.

Kids—and adults—start coming about six o’clock, and usually we wrap it up about eight. I came home by 8:30 tonight, and I can still hear and see cars, so I’m sitting in my dark house with only the computer light on. In all the throngs of children, I rarely recognize any. Tonight I knew one boy, grandson of friends who were on the porch with us. Ours is a neighborhood focused on children, and I don’t know where and how the kids I know spend the evening—but the kids who come are from other neighborhoods.

The children are the wonderful thing about the evening—their expressions range from pure joy to cautious, but uniformly they are polite, take what is given them without grabbing for more, and say thank you. Parents are equally polite and grateful. Susan’s father and I are the senior citizens, so we are absolved from sitting on the step and giving out candy but everyone else takes a turn.

Otherwise, the day was pleasant—I began moving into the bathroom, moved everything out of the small bathroom and realized too late there is not yet a mirror in the new one for putting on makeup. Still it was good to get a start on the process. My brother and sister-in-law came about 1:30 so he could give me an osteopathic soft tissue treatment. He sure knows how to find the spots in spasm and release them—it hurts while he does it, but I am much better afterward. And I walk more confidently. Coming to treat me involves taking most of his day because he lives an hour and a half away—yes, I’m grateful beyond words. After they left, I had a bit of wine and a good long nap. Perfect way to spend a soggy day, although the rain was long gone in time for trick-or-treaters tonight.

Tomorrow is All Saints Day, the time we remember loved ones who have passed on. If you study the Mexican tradition of El Dia de los Muertos, you realize ours is a corrupted and watered down version of a rich tradition meant to honor the dead.

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