Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Kindness of Strangers

"They gave me candy, Mom. They are so nice!" was Dema's comment at every house tonight. He seemed sincerely surprised and amazed every time he went to a door and was given something. It was almost touching to see. He also loved giving out candy and was extremely generous (almost to a fault since we almost ran out of candy...the boys donated most of the candy they collected to our supply to hand out.) Dema kept telling me how nice everyone was and "this gentleman gave me money" and "that woman was so sweet to me and gave me 2 pieces of candy". Not surprisingly after all that excitement, Dema fell asleep at the dining room table while we ate a bit of real food and recapped the night.

The boys had their first trick-or-treating experience and it was a hit. (Josie slept through most of it on my arm.) Parker enjoyed going with the neighborhood gang (I use this word affectionately because this group of neighborhood kids are really great...I love seeing kids from 3 to 13 play together when they go to different schools, don't go to school, have different backgrounds, different races, etc. and they fight and have a great time together) and I think the candy was secondary.

This afternoon we did our last minute Halloween touches. We had some issues with squirrels eating our pumpkins. A few weeks ago the kids and I went to The Great Pumpkin Patch (owned by our friends Kit and Emily's family and is the best pumpkin patch we've ever visited...a fall tradition since Parker was born) with our friend Jenny and her boys. We had a wonderful time and picked out some great pumpkins (meant for making into pumpkin/squash type foods), but we left them out on the porch and the squirrels got to them thus most of them ended up being jack-o-lanterns. So we knew we couldn't possibly carve a pumpkin until the last minute unless we wanted it to be devoured by our bushy-tailed "friends" long before Halloween. So today was carving day.

My sister, Karen, came over and goddess bless her she helped the kids carve the pumpkins (it was so nice to be able to take pictures with Josie and not get too messy myself...I'm not good at pumpkin carving). Parker drew pictures on the pumpkins before she got here and our friend, Alicia let us borrow her award winning jack-o-lantern making tools. Parker pretty much carved them himself and did a great job. He made one pumpkin with three faces. I didn't think it would hold up, but it did. Dema helped with some of the carving and the saving of the seeds (although they both let Karen do most of the really messy work). They planted some of the seeds around the yard so we'll see what happens to our lawn next year...we may have our own pumpkin patch.

We had a little last minute searching for candles in the attic and then an issue with our handy-dandy lighter (Parker had to go to a neighbor's house to beg matches from them)so when the gang came by (promptly at trick-or-treating starting time), we were still scrambling to get everything lit so I went with the kids (unprepared with Josie on my arm) instead of staying behind to hand out candy as we had planned. It all worked out fine and I had fun watching the kids do their thing. Everyone was so nice waiting for each other. Dema's costume came off quickly since he was running after the kids and fell before leaving sight of our house. I carried his costume along, but he never wanted to put it on again. I was impressed a couple people knew Parker was a submarine and we had several very nice comments on his costume, but next year he will have to be something which doesn't take up so much space on the porch.

Parker has his bag of candy (the little that was left after we handed out what they collected) on his desk for the Halloween Sprite (Dema fell asleep before he could do anything) and he was going to open the window a bit for her to get in, but I said our windows have enough of a draft that a sprite would have no is supposed to get into thee 30's tonight and we don't need anything working against us on the warmth of the house. The Great Pumpkin come down the chimney.

All in all it was not a bad holiday. Tomorrow, I plan on spending some time remembering loved ones who have died and going to my mother's grave. She would have loved seeing the kids dressed up in their costumes and I'm sure she would have made something special for them to eat. I'm glad we have a some pictures of her last Halloween carving pumpkins with Parker on our porch at our old house when he was not even two years old yet. We will also be meeting some friends at a nearby park and they will start the day discovering their baskets of goodies left by the Halloween Sprite and Great Pumpkin. It isn't quite enough to make me really look forward to Halloween yet, but it is a start.


Cynthia said...

It was a wonderful night----the boys say it was their best Halloween ever...

VeganLinda said...

Parker and Dema agree, best Halloween ever. Dema says in his "whole life"! All three years! :-) Trick-or-treating with your family was the highlight!

Mom said...

The squirrels got our pumpkins too. We got huge pumpkins from Allerton farm and carved a superhero for C and a castle for Liz. We kept those on the porch but then we turned C loose on the little pumpkins that were picked up at various functions this fall. We carved them and set them all around. I literally went in the house for a glass of water and when I came back out, 3 of the pumpkins had been chewed on. 3 days later, they were almost totally gone. Now that Halloween is over, we have set the neat ones out and the squirrels won't touch them :(

VeganLinda said...

Most of the people I've talked to have said the squirrels seem more aggressive this year. How strange about them not touching the cool pumpkins!

Mom said...

I think the cool pumpkin had something on them or something wrong with them. When we were carving them, I got some of the juice on my hand and it wouldn't come off. I wash my hnads 3 different times and then gave the kids baths and I still had it stuck to me. I finally picked it all off but it was gross. Then, 3 days after we had carved them, the castle one (I never expected the squirrels to touch it) had rotted enough that it actually had standing liquid in it (which I found when I went to put the candle in for Halloween night blech). We dumped it and moved it outside and the next, there was more liquid in it.