I spent the evening at Joanna's house - really fairly quietly, giving out candy to the very cute trick-or-treaters who came to the door and making an easy pasta supper for our crew. It was a good family Halloween - not stressful trying to go too many places , nobody in a bad mood- reminded me of neighborhood Halloweens when the girls were little and when I was little for that matter. One difference which pleased me was the ethnic diversity in the kids' suburban neighborhood - something I am aware of but which is especially evident on Halloween when the families are out en mass. There are several high tech companies near Joanna's and Ruth's houses which seem to hire from all over the world. I enjoy the different accents and the varied looks of the people.
A highlight of Halloweens for me has been Ruth's pumpkin carving. This year the one she did for me was a gorgeous, intricate spooky bare tree with a bat in the branches and an elaborately scripted "Happy Halloween" above.
An odd aspect of my grand kids trick-or -treating is that Zachary, at five, had enough of it an hour before his brother and sister and asked his Auntie to bring him back to the house where he helped me with food and willingly read to me and worked on a homework project that's due Friday. He didn't seem sick, grumpy, or even exhausted - just said he had enough candy and was ready to go home. Definitely not the stereotype of a five year old boy! I loved the one-on-one time with him.
There are so many interesting variants in celebration and noncelebration of Halloween and other holidays. A friend told me this morning about a dinner party she was attending at which each guest is assigned a role - (both costume and behavior- attitude, etc) by the hostess, and the guests come dressed as their characters and play out their roles throughout the evening. With this group the roles are pretty zany, but the hostess is kind, not pushing people to embarrass themselves. I think, with people I trusted, I could really enjoy a party like that, but can't see myself throwing one.
I'm a little sad Halloween is over. Its a holiday I enjoy with all the color and the costuming element - but I also enjoy the November decorating - got my gourds and Indian corn today and in the morning I will replace the jack-o-lantern banner out front with a cheerful raccoon among fall leaves.