It's Halloween, and it just got dark.
I have lit all the lights in the first floor rooms. The house, inside and out, looks lit and welcoming and all ready to welcome witches and goblins and Indiana Joneses for Trick or Treat.
Tally so far is ... 2: the neighbor kids from the house behind us, whose grandparents used to live in this house. No one else has ventured either up from the street in front or down from the cul-de-sac and driveway behind to beg for candy.
This makes me sad. In our former house, in a close-built neighborhood, with quiet level streets and no moving vehicles except those of other parents, the streets were alive between 4 and 9:30 with kids. It looked like a Peanuts special when you looked from our porch, with little costumed beggars swarming over grass and piles of crunchy leaves and the remains of spent annuals.
I loved it. I loved Halloween. I loved bringing cupcakes and juice to the school, watching the parade in the parking lot, hosting a Halloween party for my Girl Scouts.
I loved making costumes for my two daughters, usually in a mad last minute rush. I loved decorating the house with spider webs and flying bats and a scarecrow on the lawn swing, pumpkins and hay and Indian corn ... even a big goofy-looking plastic skull with giant googly eyes and a motion sensor that triggered "I SEE you" in a lugubrious tone when people approached the front door.
Now I've got a couple of tasteful pumpkins, a few copper colored mums, and a bittersweet wreath -- pretty, but restrained. Now I have two bowls of candy -- one at each door -- and no little takers. Now I've got a great old house, perfect for Halloween parties, and my girls are elsewhere -- one of them 3000 miles away.
I miss a real Halloween! I wish someone would knock at the door, some little extortionist, threatening me with dastardly deeds if I don't pony up the Twix and Kit-Kats.
Oh well. Howard will be home soon, and I did buy two bags of his favorite candy -- 3 Musketeers Bars.
I will make him beg.