Monday, October 16, 2017

A lot to love about October ~ my column from Sunday's paper

There’s a lot to love about October. Aside from high school and college football, the month has much to offer. The colors alone are worth the price of admission. If you don’t believe me, take a walk in the woods and “see” for yourself. But there are also some great festivals in October. And then there’s Halloween.

Halloween was one of my favorite holidays as a kid. It was right up there with Christmas. Back when I was trick or treating, we didn’t buy our costumes. One year I decided on an old pair of overalls and a plaid flannel shirt. A red bandana tied around my head seemed just the ticket. Using fireplace soot, I made a black patch around my right eye. I thought the getup was a great pirate costume, but none of the other kids “got it.”

The houses in our community didn’t do much decorating like people do today, but they all had candy. The candy in those days was made with real sugar. My bags were full enough after that night to keep a sugar buzz until Thanksgiving.

After Jilda and I married, we became one of those houses where kids hit the candy jackpot. We bought candy by the bushel. On Halloween during the ‘80s and early ‘90s, our doorbell jangled like a bluegrass banjo. The next morning, our candy bags were empty. Except, of course, the handful of Mary Jane candy that I held back. I love Mary Janes. It’s one of my favorite pieces of candy. I once lost a tooth while eating that tacky stuff. But it was worth it.

These days we buy a little candy, but we end up giving most of it to our great nephew, who lives next door.

A few years ago, Halloween fell on Saturday. My nephew, James, asked if we’d do a birthday weeny roast for his son, Stone. Stone was born on Halloween, and it’s haunted him all his life. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.) We agreed. And a tradition was born.

Each year toward the end of October, we have an outdoor party. Some people dress up, but most just show up for the food and fun.

We pull out all our lawn chairs and benches so that our friends and family can sit around the campfire. There’s no better aroma than hickory and oak wood burning on a small fire.

A few years ago, we did a hayride for the kids. My nephew, Haven, has a tractor and a large trailer. We filled the trailer with bales of hay and a herd of kids. The adults with good knees jumped on the trailer to help supervise the ride. Haven pulled us around the property. Most of the kids had never been on a hayride. Before the ride was over, he drove the tractor under the apple tree in our field. Each kid had a chance to pick their own apple from the tree.

Through the years, Halloween has gotten a bad rap. A few mean people tainted candy and hurt some kids. Evil has no conscience. Churches also became vocal about the spooky holiday. Something about celebrating Pagan holidays, but I’m not sure what all the fuss is about.

All I know is that I never once thought I was turning my back on the Good Lord when I was stuffing my face with Halloween candy.


  1. We don't celebrate Halloween over here but you are right October has a lot to recommend it. And, through the wonders of the blogosphere, I am enjoying autumn and spring (my favourite seasons) simultaneously.

  2. We have lost some innocence through the years and it has diminished Halloween a bit, but it is still a fun day, especially for the little ones.

    There may be maybe 6 or seven really nice days in October, but they might be the nicest days of the year.

  3. A local condo (rentals) just got new ownership and 'they' outlawed all halloween decorations. Condos are full of little kids - what does this teach them.

  4. October is a special month and here we always celebrate Halloween too. Trick or treat for the little ones is a lot of fun. Nice you have the chance to have a party. Always good to get together with family and friends!

  5. When we were young we just borrowed our parents old clothes and we dressed up to disguise ourselves and we went trick or treating and got homemade fudge and molasses toffee or other hand pulled candies. Everyone knew everyone in the neighbourhood and the adults would try to guess who we were. When we could stump them we felt proud of our disguise...

    Making the candies was just as much fun. There was no evil... What happened?
    Commercialism got involved to make money. Now it an industry. Fake pumpkins and an array of decorations and stores full of costume. Big $$$ business. Greed and Evil got in on the act.

    I still love the old Halloween traditions but not much the new one.
    Hugs, Julia

  6. I never looked at Halloween as an evil day. But I know some take it to extreme. I was always in it for the candy and had to dress up just get it.

  7. I love October today: it's seventy degrees, breezy, not humid. Dressing up in a costume and getting candy never turned me against God. I don't understand the fuss, either.


  8. I don't think Halloween has much to do with pagan worship. I think it's just a fun holiday to blow off steam and eat too much candy.

  9. As a kid, I always loved Halloween. Usually we made our costumes, but sometimes Mom would buy them for us. We lived in a predominately military neighborhood. We had Grandma's that invited us in for milk, cookies and caramel apples. My sis and I would take pillow cases, fill them up, then go home and empty them and go back out for more (we were very greedy!). Our parents never accompanied us, but we never felt afraid or worried about our candy. It's really too bad it can't be that fun anymore.
    We took our son to Fiesta Texas (now Six Flags) for Halloween, which they ruined by giving out the same candy at every stop.....they must have made a deal with Mars because all he got in his bag was dark chocolate Milky Way. I had to promise I would get him a mix of candy the next day.......

  10. I liked getting homemade treats for Halloween. There were cookies, candied apples, cake, cupcakes, and other goodies. Of course I also liked the candy bars, paper ups full of candy and even the pennies that added up to a tidy sum at the end of the night.

  11. Anonymous12:14 PM

    Halloween should be fun!!


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