Something that we're learning about living in a community that is actually a community is that what were, for us, mere blips on the calendar, are occasions for fun and togetherness. Take for example, say- Halloween. Now, there are as many opinions about how or whether to "celebrate" Halloween as there are people we know. We've done it every which way, trick-or-treating/ not trick or-treating but handing out candy and tracts/ ignoring it altogether while candy seekers fruitlessly ring the doorbell/ going to a church event instead... As much as I'm tempted to go on with all of the reasonings and editorialize, (you have no idea how much I've already deleted) I'm just going to tell you how we joined in the fun.
In this area, Halloween is seen as an opportunity to dress up in fun costumes, many of which are planned months in advance, and go with friends from house to house soliciting candy while having fun. Fun is the whole point. Last night my children dressed up in their Texas gear and went trick-or-treating with the neighborhood kids with whom they ride the school bus. There are more kids right near us than I suspected. We all gathered at the home of the twins, across the road from our back yard. I got to meet Moms as we all, armed with flashlights hit up the homes in the immediate vicinity. The first house started the pattern of the whole gang being either invited into the home or admired and "treated" on the well lit front porch. Once the homes right here were visited we headed for Fawn Road to embark on the big adventure.
Being such a rural area, some streets have become the gathering places for events such as this, and Fawn Road has earned a great reputation for fun and hospitality. At the top of the hill gangs of kids and their Moms wait until 6:30, then they go from one driveway to the next all the way down the hill. The homeowners all have a candy station set up at the end of their driveways, some are in costume, some not. One family had a whole Philadelphia Eagles tailgate party going on with their decorated truck and everything- boy were the Dads impressed!
Among the roving candy seekers was a Dad driving his lawn tractor pulling a wagonload of costumed preschoolers. We also saw a pair on horseback dressed in black cloaks. All the way we followed our group of kids, who were wearing glo-stick necklaces and wristbands. Meeting the other Moms was nice and we swapped stories all the way. Once we reached the bottom I learned that the Dads have parked their cars and trucks at the bottom to transport heavy laden families home with their spoils. Our neighbor had room in his truck and drove us back up the hill with his son. The kids rode in the back checking out their booty and cramming as fast as they could before I called a halt to the sugar consumption. Good thing there's a crash soon after the rush!
All in all, Halloween here is fun. We had fun. I'm glad we participated in the fun. Now what will we dress up as next year??? (Time for a Snickers!)