Sunday, October 24, 2010

I Love Halloween

I love Halloween.

My kids know that.  So do the kids who grew up living in Bellair in Glendale, Arizona.
The kids who grew up in Arrowhead Ranch in Glendale, Arizona knew it too. So did their parents.

When my kids were smaller they would rather stay home and "do" Halloween with me than go trick or treating with their friends.  Soon, their friends would join us.

There were years that we spend weeks fixing the yard.  In Arizona you can do that.  The weather is nice, the temps are getting cooler, usually in the 80's some days.  The nights are wonderful.  So it is fun to be in the yard and make it "Halloweeney".  Yes, that is a word. 

We would make a graveyard some years.  We would make head stones and stuff old clothes to look like bodies were laying above the ground.  There were always a few head stones that had "REAL" bodies laying there.  My kids would do the makeup, wear the clothes and really get into the character needed for Halloween.

We had a brick walk in our front yard, and the trick or treaters would walk up the walk to the front porch.  I was usually dressed up and sitting near a pot of "dry ice" that was making mist.  I would welcome the little children in my best witch voice.  They would be shy, walk slowly, but couldn't resist my candy bars.  The little kids were so fun.  But as the trick or treaters got a little taller, and I knew they were punks out getting candy and having fun, well....they were our targets.

They would chatter amongst themselves and try to be cool and not act afraid.  They would gladly walk up the walk for the free candy.  As they were about half way up the walk, one of my "bodies" would s l o w l y raise up from the dead.

It was wonderful watching those 6th and 7th graders, who were moments earlier so cool and charming with each other, suddenly clutch each other and scream.  They were scarred to move, and scared they wouldn't get the free candy if they ran.

Then the body would slowly lay back down, and the candy grabbin' kids would continue on to the porch, but always looking over their shoulder.  As they left our yard they weren't sure how many of the bodies in my front yard were real and how many were pretend.

I loved those years.  I loved watching my kids get into the act.  They even brought friends in costume.  One year we had a Grim Reaper.  He had a sickle which had once belonged to my Grandfather.  It was Big and Very Effective!  I still have that reaper.

Our traditions have changed this year.  It is really Halloween here in Idaho.  The autumn air is getting pretty cold.  The leaves are brilliant and falling from the trees.  And I get to decorate with REAL pumpkins, not the fake Michael's ones.  Mine are truly pumpkins.  I get them at the Farmers Market.  Every week I get another one, and a squash or two.

I have decorated nearly every horizontal surface with real food.  Fresh, real food. 

I enjoyed pulling out my old Tole Painted decorations which I made 20 years ago.  The black cats, the smiling pumpkins, and the Cat in the Moon.  They bring me as much joy today as they did 20+ years ago. 

Each room has a new "table scape" of Halloween.  It will be easy to remove the Halloween painted items and replace them with Thanksgiving items in a few days.  To see the familiar decorations in a new home has been refreshing and exciting for me.  Before, I put the same thing in the same place year after year, and it was predictable.  This year I get to have a new adventure and see things in new places.  Because they are familiar to me they still give me the sense of "being home".  I have found great joy in remembering painting these little things, sharing my talent of painting with others, and made wonderful memories. Those memories make me smile today as I remember the friends who have sat hour after hour with me and painted.  Those who I taught to paint in my home and at the shop where I taught.

My darling youngest daughter has added her talent this year.  She has crocheted some bright colored monsters to help me decorate.  Or to be toys for our baby boy to play with.  Look back at the first photo.......I'll wait.......yep, she crocheted that a few days ago. (She planned on the baby being here, I thought it was a Halloween decoration....silly me!)

I have given away many of the things I have made for Halloween over the years.  But I treasure those I have kept.  Halloween is a holiday of many memories for me.

I welcome this holiday and the new memories of Halloween, possibly a white Halloween......!  Yep, I really do love Halloween.


  1. I totally miss Bellair now :( What good times we had :) I can't wait to start those traditions up again with my I just have to go kidnap me a family muahahaha

  2. It was so fun to walk into your house and see the decorations from my childhood! what a walk down memory lane it has been to sit in the rooms at night and look at the beautiful tole painted and handmade friends. :) Your new home is so beautiful, and so warm and cozy... all of your homes are, but this one seems to fit you and Dad the best. I'm so happy for you!!!


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happy, in love, getting closer to retirement, love my family, love my Savior.