"Our life is frittered away by detail...simplify, simplify." - Henry David Thoreau

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

On Being a Biker Babe

Well, at least for Halloween. I hate Halloween. No, not really but the anxiety building up to it is just one more thing I don't need on my plate. I've got a fundraiser for our local Medical Clinic the Saturday after and of course, I have to fumigate the house now that the sickies are all back at school. Back when we lived in the city the pressure was all about decorating the house and whether we'd have enough candy to make it through the night. We lived on a Halloween street. The kind that the local TV news would cover with one house going all out every year and everyone else trying to keep up or at least worrying whether a thousand pieces of candy would get you through the night. Back then the kids wore cute, fuzzy costumes from Costco that kept them warm if it snowed and they loved to wear them throughout the year for special occasions like grocery shopping or going to the dentist. Then we moved along to the superhero phase and Spiderman and Batman were the costume du jour. At least thoses guys didn't carry weapons dripping fake blood.

Things have changed a little since we moved out of the big city. We don't get any trick or treaters as we live on a dead end street with only eight houses. Most are inhabited by older people who, when they asked us why the kids didn't come trick or treating to their houses, I had to gently explain that turning on the porch light, if not putting out a pumpkin was the traditional way to let kids know you are open for visitors. So we go across town to the "new development" where the houses are all jammed together and you can get a heck of alot more candy in a much shorter period of time. On the way there we do stop in at the senior's apartment building where the ladies sit in the foyer and the kids parade through and have their picture taken and are given gorgeous little loot bags. It makes everyone's night. This year I am taking a few boxes of candy over to some of the families who live in the "new development" (it's not that new, probably built in the 70's but in this town that's considered new) since I feel guilty that we all descend upon them every year.

The kids' costumes are well, not exactly cute and cuddly or even brave superheroish. Boys want scary and bloody and ugly and preferably store bought. I hate this. Why when I was a kid we had to make our own costumes (my mother did not sew) so we dug through the dress up box and raided our parents closets and inevitably I was a witch, albeit a pretty one or a gypsy. We didn't have masks or swords or pretty princess dresses from WalMart. Now I sound like an old lady, "why when I was a girl we walked to school up hill, both ways ..."

Of course the other big difference was that we lived in the country and weren't smart enough to figure out on a candy collected per mile travelled that town was the place to go. We would all pile into my Dad's truck, front and back (this was the 70's, pre seat belts) and go up and down all the long farm laneways. My Dad and our neighbour would go into each house and usually end up having a beer while we ran around in the dark waiting to go on to the next house. Halloween was a night long affair and I am quite sure in retrospect that my Dad was throughly sloshed by the end of it. Ahhhh, the good old days.

Now, we modern parents would never think of drinking and driving but we have been know to walk and tipple. I have this great old opera cloak from my grandmother (the opera-going gene died with her) with huge pockets. Big enough to hold a bottle of red and a couple of goblets in one and a few beers in the other. This way we can keep up with the kids as they race across lawns and streets all the while enjoying a lovely merlot or lager. Very civilized and another thing we would have never done in the city.

This year since Halloween falls on a Saturday I have my Mum coming up to stay over so that after we get home and the kids are well into their candy count, sort and trade we can be on our way. The count sort/sort/trade component of the evening hasn't changed since I was a kid. First take out anything with nuts as my Other Half is allergic (okay, that is new), then they take out anything that is even vaguely healthy like all natural fruit gummies and then they sort by ingredients - chocolate, gum, licorice, completely unidentifiable, etc. And then the trading begins. By this time we will be in our costumes and out the door.

Last year we went as pirates, the year before as the castways from Gilligan's Island (sans Gilligan for some reason) and this year we're gonna be bad ... bikers. Already have the tattoo sleeves to pull on, tight jeans, boots and even black leather chaps for the ol' man (actually, they belong to my Dad, he wears them horseback riding) His ol' lady will be sporting heavy make up and I might even spring for a pack of smokes to roll up in my sleeve so when we hit the dance floor we'll be smokin' ....


  1. I'm guessing last year's pirates is that profile photo in the sidebar that I always think is adorable.

    Happy Halloween!

  2. How nice of you to give us a preview shot of you in your Biker Babe costume! ;)
    Enjoy the festivities!

  3. PHST, yes, that is us. I try to get the ol' man to wear a wig and make up at least once a year.
    Beth, unfortunately the bike was borrowed ;)

  4. We have to always go to another neighborhood to trick or treat too!
    Dropped by from SITS.

  5. This is the first year we're taking my son treat or treating. I'm pretty excited about it.

    But he is sporting a store bought dino suit. I don't sew either.

  6. I was just reminiscing on another blog about the year we moved into our first house in a new development on Halloween day. We had tons of candy "just in case" and got not a single trick or treater. The next year we got enough candy for our little neighborhood and ended up with HUNDREDS of kids. Turned out the local apartment complexes and condos just dropped their kids off in the neighborhood adjoining ours and let them go to every house and now that there were others around us, they walked down the hill to our newer neighborhood when they finished.

  7. I love the way that you describe the old days. I remember my Dad having me hand him beer while he drove. No seatbelts, sleeping on the front seat! LOL!

  8. Hi! Just stopped by from Steph's blog. I enjoyed reading your post. I love the fall pictures on your header. Awesome!

  9. Debbie, so glad we are not the only ones

    K, be sure to post a photo of your little dino

    Steph, I am buying candy to have on hand (and for later) just in case

    Otin, so happy that you stoppped by. I'll have to come up with some more "Good Ol' Days" stories. I've got lots to choose from, like how my mother used to tie my brother to the boat so he wouldn't fall out or the time my parents held a drunken fondue party and set the table on fire, ran outside and realized they had left a newborn baby (me) upstairs ...

    Sherrie, thanks for dropping by and watch out for a new header soon. I got the instructions to make them from http://memoriesoncloverlane.blogspot.com

  10. I'm not really into Halloween these days, but growing up, I used to love it. I think I would appreciate it more if I had kids. But I'm with you. It's ridiculous how much money has to go into just the costumes nowadays. My mom was never much of a seamstress, but she made our costumes almost every year.

    Stopping by from SITS to say hi!

    Happy Friday!

  11. Popping in from SITS!

    My neighborhood is throwing a party for the kids then we are going to church for a trunk or treat!

    I wasn't brought up trick or treating so I don't take my children but, they do attend some sort of Halloween Activity & they do dress up.

  12. I love the idea of trick or treating at the seniors' home. Happy Halloween!

  13. Hope you had a great halloween!

  14. Well the kids look like they had a blast anyway! :o) And I love that quote: "If you aren't embarassing your kids you aren't trying hard enough" LOL!

    Stopping by from the SITS Halloween Parade :o)


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