Monday, November 01, 2010


Halloween on a Sunday worked out pretty well this year. Here's a rundown of how our day went:

Our neighbourhood is a popular place for trick-or-treating. Lots of kids live here, and others come to our place specifically because it is so safe and easy and so much fun for going door to door. Lots of people decorate their carports and front doors, and many dress up to hand out treats. We like to set up chairs and a table in the carport because it's easier than answering the door 100 times!

Andy decorated our place earlier in the week. There was a coffin and tombstones in the garden and pumpkin and skeleton lights, caution tape and spider web inside the carport. On Halloween afternoon I carved the jack-o-lanterns and set them out. Andy added the electronic gizmos (flying bats, a wiggling hand reaching out from the coffin, creepy music tombstone, strobe light in the tree and Frankenstein who dances to "Thriller.") Frankenstein is the little kids' favourite. The neighbourhood dogs are mesmerized by the bats. It's quite funny to watch the kids and the dogs.

At church in the morning, Reverend Julie talked with the children about all saints and all souls days as the basis for Halloween, and encouraged everyone to feel good about church + trick-or-treating. The tooth fairy and a fairy princess attended church. Julie said, "you know it's a good day when the Christ candle is lit by the tooth fairy." I stayed after the service for a meeting of shelter shift coordinators. Our church kicks off the Cold Wet Weather Mat program on November 1. During November, I'll be in charge of the morning crew two days a week. We'll make and serve breakfast, hand out lunches, then put away the beds and clean the church hall, kitchen and bathrooms after our guests leave. It looks like a good crew this year. It's our fourth year hosting, so we're pretty confident about what we're doing.

We had a low-key day at home after church, doing a bit of cleaning and getting ready for Halloween. I didn't bake parent treats or make a big coffee set-up this year, mostly because I was planning to go out after trick-or-treating, and I wanted to keep things simple, especially the cleanup. We put about 180 pieces of candy into a bowl. I didn't eat any. Andy and the kids maybe had one or two each, really! Outside, neighbours were putting finishing touches on decorations, and the kids were all in their costumes early and eager. I love how much kids love Halloween!

The first knock on our door was at about 5:20. I got set up in the carport for 5:30, and we handed out treats until 7:30. Lots of neighbours were out with their kids, or in their carports handing out treats, so we criss-crossed the street, visiting one another. I tried not to scare the kids with my dead Emily Dickinson costume, although this was hard to do because I wasn't wearing my glasses, so I had to get close to see their costumes. If anyone looked reluctant, I just made myself scarce, an Emily Dickinson trait, I think.

All of the trick-or-treating shut down for the neighbourhood fireworks display promptly at 7:30. (This is a good thing, because I handed out the last piece of candy about this time.) Andy went to the rec centre to help light the fireworks while I took off in the car go to Thundering Word's Open Mic of th' Living Dead Celebrities.

Thundering Word is such a wonderful show, mixing music, comedy, poetry and storytelling. A few people dressed up as dead, or not-yet-dead celebrities. There wasn't a big crowd in the house, but those who attended made up an enthusiastic and appreciative audience. RC Weslowski's feature set was strange and wonderful as usual. His spoken word performance is always like my friend Cathy describes martinis, "A little bit yummy and a just the right amount of yukky." Celebrities in attendance included Selina, T Paul Ste.-Marie, Bob Dylan, Theodor Geisel and me, Emily Dickinson. My Emily answered a few questions from the audience about the afterlife, then read a bedtime story, "Goodnight Moon."

By the time I got home, Halloween was almost over. By the time I washed off my makeup and got out of my wig (ouch! wigs do pinch!) it was November.

It was a good Halloween. Like the kids, I'm already thinking about what we'll do next year.

question: trick? or treat?

mompoet - both

No comments: