Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Bellies

Halloween can be a lonely disappointment.

Here in the Northwest, we celebrate Halloween a little differently. Well, we do a lot of things differently, but it isn't our fault. Sometimes it isn't warm enough to trick-or-treat in just a costume. Sometimes a sweater or a light jacket must be worn. And, of course, a large umbrella is valuable. The larger the better. Somehow carrying a jaunty blue and white stripped golf umbrella seems to negate the sinister aspect of a witch or a mummy. You can forget about being a fairy or an angel. Have you ever tried to put a raincoat over wings? And children don't seem to enjoy trick-or-treating as much as they did when I was a child in California.

I remember taking my daughter out trick-or-treating and she whined the whole time.

"It's cold," she complained.

I leaned closer to hear her over ping, ping, ping, ping of the pelting rain on the umbrella.
"It isn't that cold. Button up your jacket."

"It's really cold," she moaned from under the fur-lined hood.

"Do you want to wade back to the car? Your costume is so cute, are you sure you don't want to go to a few more houses?"

"You can't see my costume, Mom. I'm wearing ski pants and a parka and rubber boots over it and I'm still cold."

I rolled my eyes and leaned back. A gush of water cascaded off the umbrella. Children exaggerate so. Exhilarating would have been a better description of the weather.
In the morning four inches of snow covered the ground.
My daughter has graduated from college and is working in downtown Portland. She still likes to dress up in costumes and belly dancing has given her reason to do so. For some reason she likes to be inside on Halloween, so she and her belly dancing friends staged a Halloween show. It was hard to tell audience from performers as nearly everyone was in costume, but when the music began there was no mistaking who was who.
Belly dancers of all sorts worked each muscle in independent motion and in the intermission coined belts, floaty scarves and feathered hair pieces could be purchased from vendors. It was a great place to spend Halloween night, and quite truthfully it was a relief not to be home.

For the last fifteen years I've sat at the door in a dim circle of light from the front porch, a mound of chocolaty candy in a bright orange pumpkin, and "Young Frankenstein" playing on the television, waiting and waiting for trick-or-treaters. I've not had any. Not even one. I wonder why. It could be because I live out in the country. I hope it has nothing to do with the yellow "Electric Fence" warning signs surrounding the property.


  1. ohh how I remember those years and oh how I am about to reexperience them as a mommy!

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  3. You are so good with costumes, you'll have a great time.


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