Sometimes You Just Gotta Be a Witch
Sometimes You Just Gotta Be a Witch!
Halloween reminds me of living in Western Springs, Illinois where Pete, Lex, Kole and I lived for about eight years. During that time, our kids experienced a true dream-like childhood. October 31st, in particular, was something out of a storybook.
The early days
We lived on a well-traveled corner of this Mayberry-like town in an old farm house that was built in 1892. It had a wrap around front porch with a white, wooden porch swing that could hold Pete, both kids, and me. (We could swing back and forth together for hours.) I had the home painted a warm and inviting butter-yellow. The porch floor and all of the shutters on the windows were accented with hunter-green. The porch ceiling, swing, and trim around the windows popped with a gorgeous stark white. I was so proud to take care of that old antique.
In the covered ceiling corners of that hunter-green and stark-white porch, I had outdoor speakers installed for everyday use, but at Halloween, I really made the most of them. Back then, I had a five-disc CD changer and blasted the best spooky/fun music you could imagine. The kids and the parents would come dancing up the stairs like it was a party they couldn’t wait to get to.
Treats for for all
On Halloween, most of the kids who came to our home typically lived in our section of the town. The rule was that no one could begin trick or treating until four o’clock, and they had to be finished by eight. Within those four hours, hundreds of kids would stop by our house.
Our tradition was to make a big vat of margaritas (you know me and my tequila!) and serve it to any of the parents who wanted one. There were other homes who served other things. My friend Barb always had chili. Diane had popcorn balls. Karen had hot chocolate. However, it seemed that we were a little more popular than any of them. Hmmm. I wonder why?
Those days in Western Springs will always have great memories. Lex and Kole will tell me that those were some of their most treasured. When we moved to Connecticut, those fun Halloweens were left in Illinois. New Canaan was a town that had more acreage per home and not nearly as many sidewalks like our former Pleasantville-like community. Our kids were older and less interested in dressing up, although they still had interest in getting candy—I didn’t raise dummies!
Halloween in New Canaan—scary for a different reason!
We only lived out East for seven years, and in that time, some of our Halloweens were canceled due to hurricanes. (The East coast calls them “Nor’easters”. They were bad boys for sure.) One year, our basement flooded. The next year we had to sleep in the basement because if any of the surrounding 80-foot pine trees fell on the upper level of the home, we would have been crushed. The third year our power was out for an entire week. Luckily, we had a 500-gallon propane tank that fed our generator. We were one of the only ones among our friends who had such a thing, so naturally I invited them to stay with us if they needed. We were good friends with our pastor and his wife, and they had well water. Well(!), no electricity=no pump=no water. It’s no fun not being able to shower after a week. So they took us up on the offer and stayed with us for a few days.
Western Springs meets New Cannaan
In the years that a Nor'easter did not come through our neighborhood on Halloween, I had a couple of parties for my “witches and old bat” friends. Two of my besties from Western Springs, Kim and Courtney, decided to fly in on their broomsticks and surprise me one year. (Once you get to know me a little better, you will know how much I adore surprises. I didn’t realize I loved them so much until after I had Lex).
Kim and Courtney have always been the classier blondes to round out our balanced trio. We’re all kinda the same height, weight, age, and love doing the same things. They remember the margarita-on-the-porch days and when we are together, we reminisce about how much fun we had back then. Honestly, who serves margaritas to parents when they are strolling their children around town on Halloween? I do!
Present day Halloween
Years later, I still love decorating our home for Halloween. However, I no longer buy candy because 1. I will eat it all 2. I spent more than enough during my Western Springs days on those kids who climbed our stairs to get to our front porch! Instead, some years Pete and I will host a costume party for our friends, and others we’ll just sit and watch reruns of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”.
No matter how I spend Halloween, I will always have a great feeling inside from all the years prior. Mostly, I have chosen to be a witch just waiting around for a cat and a devil to show up on my doorstep!
I love that you were with me today. See you tomorrow!