Saturday, November 01, 2008

Leftover Candy and a Little Wren

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It was time to take the basket of candy to the front porch, just before the sun set. An angry Carolina Wren had a screaming fit in a nearby Crepe Myrtle, reminding me it was bedtime! If you have been reading here for a while, you’ll understand how delighted I am to have a little Wren visiting.


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Happy to accommodate, I moved my trick-or-treat post off the porch to the bottom step so my overnight guest could rest. My new giving-candy spot is a better place for kids and parents since our driveway is steep and there are nine steps leading to the front door. Running children are a risk for casualties, especially when they’re on a sugar-high, and Chloe and Bella could relax, too. I saw the Wren flap into its homemade nest. Good.

For two hours, I sat on the bottom step and had fewer visitors than ever before. With Dads as escorts, sweet kids arrived in groups, or alone. A few parents arrived that made me laugh or wince in wonder as one Dad wore a grass skirt and coconuts on his breasts. Yep. There were the screamer kids… “Trick or Treat!” that pierced my eardrums, there were greedy little kids who dipped into my basket with those cute little dimpled knuckles to grab handfuls of their favorite candy (not without a lesson in manners from me), there were teen-aged kids wearing pathetic costumes who belonged at home giving candy or at a party instead, and there were children I wanted to hug, too.

During the quiet times, I leaned against the porch rail and remembered my own childhood Halloweens in the city. We wore homemade costumes often that were indescribably weird and we carried large paper bags, unlike the sparkly lighted pumpkins I saw last night. We didn’t wear lighted shoes or fake hair, nor did we have those grotesque masks. We made up our own faces with old make-up found in Mom's bedroom. My parents couldn’t afford store-bought costumes every year and I remember the year I collected treats dressed as a cocoon. My brother wore a store-bought “Casper the Friendly Ghost” costume once and I have a photo of him somewhere… At 6pm, our parents opened the starting gate and said, “Go! Be home by 8:30!” And we were home on time with loads of sugary treats from two hundred city rowhomes. We didn’t have adult escorts but our loot was examined closely that night for life threatening treats like razor blades in apples. Can you imagine setting your kids free on Halloween night without cell phones?


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It became quiet in the neighborhood so I climbed the steps to the porch. I smiled while recalling Gina’s giggles during Halloween prep for so many years in the 80’s and 90’s. The green face paint for her first witch costume, the clown, the punk rocker, the French maid, the New Kids on the Block outfit, and the black cat. Her silly childhood friends and their Moms and Dads, our good friends who are now far away, made my memories so sweet.


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I practiced night photography and remembered my delight in scaring little children enough to send them running to the first set of adult legs they could find :o) I love masks.


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Distant, echoed voices could be heard in the neighborhood,

Are you ready for the haunted house, guys?

Have a good night! See ya later…

Good luck in soccer tomorrow…


Quietly, I replied to all I don’t know, “Yes, have a good night…”.


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Halloweens past I missed last night, but I’m glad to have lots of leftover candy and that Carolina Wren tail feather in view.

30 comments:

Cheryl said...

You took me back to my childhood days....Mum and Dad had little or no money but hey Mary didn't we have fun..........

My grandchildren had their little faces made up....I bought a cheap kit from the supermarket and then they were allowed to make Grandpop face up..........

Your night photos are great, everything seemed so quiet.....

Glad you had a wren visit....

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I can just imagine the scolding you got from that wren Mary.

We didn't have any children only adults 'trick or drinking' to our house so my DB and I will have to eat all the left over candy. UGH...

Corey said...

I'm so lazy . . I need to post Halloween pics of my own. [sigh] Football will inevitably win.

KGMom said...

Mary--I too have noted the kids who are bit too old to be trick or treating. And, you can bet, I comment on it to them. The neighborhood agreement when my kids were young was no more trick or treating after 7th grade. I believe the kids came up with that on their own!
Is the wren in the nest you made?

RuthieJ said...

I've seen that wren nest before! Can't remember--was it swallows or house finches as the previous inhabitants? I would be thrilled to have a Carolina wren move onto my property.

Debbie said...

Enjoyable post, Mary. Yes, we also went out trick or treating alone when we were kids. Times sure have changed.

We live out in the boonies and don't get any trick or treaters.

Mary said...

Donna and Ruthie, that's the nest I made fashioned for Barn Swallows. They never came back but House Finches fledged from that nest a few times. It's nice to see a Carolina Wren up there :o)

Sherry at the Zoo said...

What a sweet scene you've helped me to visualize tonight. I really enjoy how Halloween has turned into a time when parents go out with their children and you finally can meet and greet neighbors that you've never talked to before.

Sherry at the Zoo said...

Forgot to tell you....LOVE the moon picture...

beckie said...

Loved hearing of your memories, Mary. Made me think back on all the years of trick or treating my girls had. Lots of laughter, lots of friends and occassional a sanctioned TP party. I miss those days. But I guess it's the next generations turn for making memories.

So glad you had an overnight guest. Maybe she will tell others of your hospitality. Your night pictures are great. Your street looks so inviting.

Deb in FL said...

Thank you for bringing back some wonderful memories! We had to "make do" with our costumes too! I remember the one year my Mother bought us store-bought costumes. The mask was hot and my face would sweat underneath it! (We live in Florida) Eventually, the mask ended up on top of my head or dangling from my wrist with the elastic wrapped around a couple of times. My sister and I would go by ourselves or meet up with a couple of friends along the way. We, too, carried big brown grocery bags to collect the treats! I enjoy your posts. Thank you for sharing! Deb

Jayne said...

It sort of bothers me that there seems to be so many older teens trick or treating these days. They tend to be rather unappreciative and greedy. I want to see the little princesses and Buzz Lightyears who timidly take one piece of candy and grin. :c)

P.S. My word veri for this is "smell"... lolol

Angie said...

Beautiful photos, Mary, and your trip down memory lane made me reeallly nostalgic. :) okay, okay, boys LOL Dewey and Badger want me to tell Bella and Chloe that they hope they had a 'howling' good Halloween. :)

NCmountainwoman said...

Mary, your night photos are absolutely fantastic! I also loved the Halloweens of my childhood. I was sorry my own children could not do the same.

Wrens in a homemade swallow nest? I've tried everything else to attract them. Perhaps I'll try that.

Great post!

Balisha said...

Mary...Love the night photos. What a nest!!

Carol said...

Trick or treat, a few days late. I had just a dozen or so little kids come to my door, all in nice costumes. No big kids, or if the big kids did come later, they found I was not at home!

We always dressed as hobo's... Dad's old clothes, dirty faces, and we were all set!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

JeanMac said...

Nostalgic post with a lovely ending - no pun intended. Glad you enjoyed.

Ruth said...

Our neighbourhood is getting older. We had about 10 children in a city subdivision. We always created our own costumes without parental assistance or funds. But our treats were sorted and rationed once we got home.

BJ said...

WOW! That picture of the moon is absolutely gorgeous! And the other night shots too.....you are doing great with your new camera!

I enjoy Halloween so much now since having the grandchildren. I guess because I'm not the one that is crazily trying to get the pumpkins carved, facepaint bought and dinner.....all before getting them dressed to go out! Whew! I'm tired just writing all of that!

I loved your reminiscing about yourself as a little girl at Halloween. We just used anything in our house that we could find....there were no costumes to go out and buy. Of course, Halloween wasn't nearly as popular as it is now either.

So glad that your wren came to visit. He knows a good home when he flies near one!!!!!

Rose said...

I used to let my kids out on their own on Halloween, but we lived in a small town and knew everyone. They knew who had the "best" candy and always made sure they hit those houses first! And rarely did I buy costumes for them--usually we came up with weird things out of my or their Dad's closet.
Glad little Wren could finally rest!

Kathleen said...

Happy Dance! So happy to hear you have been blessed by Miss Wren.

Your crescent moon photo is beautiful.

Your memories of Halloween are special. I'm reminded of trick or treating in a coal mining town. We ran the streets trying to scare each other in our homemade costumes.

Laurie said...

My mom often made our costumes. One of my favorite pictures is of my brother and I in homemade clown costumes.

Thanks for the memories, Mary.

Hugs,
Laurie

Susan Gets Native said...

I miss my plastic Wonder Woman costume....


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T.R. said...

Oh Mary this is so poignant. You took me right back home. You are such a gifted writer. I read this three times smiling growing bigger with each read and yet I feel the somber mood you wove into the store slightly lamenting the days going by too quickly and the changes they bring. Congrats on your wren -- right there where they belong.

nina said...

"Holidays" make us reminisce, don't they? Something about sitting in the dark under a crescent moon, might help, too!

I don't remember my costumes, but we carried pillow cases for loot.
And trick-or-treating was never limited by a village schedule, i.e.6-8. We walked the streets for hours!
Then unloaded on the livingroom to tally up!

Wendy said...

Loved that crescent moon. And all your pics too.
Oh the good old days. We made our costumes, sometimes an old blanket would do for a cape and make-up of mom's. We did have fun too.
Nobody had to check candy in those days either. We knew the neighbours.

Today, we don't get any children at our door. We're kind of in the country and I think most of the little ones have a halloween party in town.

Mary said...

Deb in Florida, thanks for visiting. I, too, remember those plastic masks that we wore for 15 minutes - tops.

Mary

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Love the moon photo!
I have kids trick-or-treat me that are at least 30! These kids have been trick-or-treating me since they were little. Now they bring their kids.
I love Halloween.
Only treats!
Sherry

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