I have some great memories of Halloween growing up. We always carved pumpkins and roasted the seeds. G and I were probably the most excited about it, but I'm sure we left the grunt work to mom & dad. Dad always had to do the carving, and because we were disgusted by the inside of the pumpkin, they always had to separate out the seeds.

One year, we grew pumpkins in the garden. G and I set up a stand in our front yard to sell them. I think we priced them at 50 cents each. That sounds like a great idea, a good project for kids, right? But here's the thing - almost all of the pumpkins were green. They didn't quite ripen. Not only that, we grew up on a street that is a circle. It only has 9 houses, one of which is a summer cottage. Therefore, absolutely no traffic. None. So, secretly, Mom called the neighbors. She called our grandparents. She called other relatives. One by one, they all showed up to buy pumpkins. We were so excited to have customers!

Every year for Halloween, G and I had homemade costumes, made by Mom. We were cheetahs, mice, witches, hobos (we were not always politically correct!) and many other things. We had the best costumes going. Several of my smaller cousins have since worn some of them, and it's fun to see them again. I think my favorite of all, though, was the year we were playing cards.

We each had two large homemade cardboard playing cards, front and back. Nearly as big as we were. They were hooked together with rope or string, and set over our shoulders. We wore, if I recall correctly, red pants and turtlenecks underneath. They were great costumes. However, if you've been paying attention, you will remember that we had only 7 other possible houses at which to trick-or-treat on our street. Once you get off of our street, it is a busy road and not suitable for walking to trick-or-treat. So we always drove. Mom & Dad drove us around to all of our relatives' houses all over town. This means, at every house, it's out of the car, in the car, out of the car, in the car. Large cardboard costumes don't work so well for that... so every time, they came off. Get out of the car, put on your costume. Get candy. Take it off. Get out. Put on. Get candy. Take off. You get the point. Seriously time-consuming and cumbersome. But still my favorite costume memory. Those costumes were great fun.

This year, M and I held up the pumpkin carving tradition, as we have for the last 4 years, except last year (we had no balcony or porch on which to keep it). A few years ago, when we were living in Pennsylvania, we bought a carving kit with patterns and went all out:

This year, we kept it a little simpler. We got just one pumpkin (I'm almost out of the toasted seeds already) and drew our own crude pattern. We must have thrown away our little pumpkin carving knife when we moved, so we used a kitchen knife. We like it, though. I made M do all the actual carving, but I did most of the seed-separating.

And now, I am helping to uphold the trick-or-treating tradition for all the kids in our building. So far, we've had dinosaurs, gangsters, pumpkins, Lightning McQueen, princesses, Tinkerbell, Dora the Explorer, Darth Vader, a ladybug and quite a few other adorable kiddos in costumes. M just got home from work, so if we're lucky, we'll get at least a few more groups of kids so he can share in the festivities, too.
There's the door. Happy Halloween!


maresi said...

oh, those mice costumes! My absolute favorite. SO cute. thanks for sharing those memories... I was telling Timon yesterday about getting driven all around to various houses. I'd forgotten about those playing card costumes. henry cleaned up tonight - he'll have after-dinner treats for 2 months.

Ma Ma to 3 said...

I so understand the driving around town Halloween event. We did it tonight and spent about 20 minutes at each house and were out for 2 1/2 hours! We still didn't get to everyone but we can only put the kids through so much for one night. Getting in and out of the carseats is not a treat with bulky costumes on. I understand the cardboard box type of costumes too. I once went out with my friend as a pair of dice. Good thing we were able to just walk house to house..too bad every old lady that we saw invited us in for hot chocolate and my friends father always said SURE! We had on bulky winter coats underneath our boxes so to say the least it was not a fun experience. Enough of my rambling...Love the pumpkin photos. We never did get a pumpkin this year. I really meant to but just never got around to it. We will enjoy yours for the time being if you don't mind. :)

Anonymous said...

I always loved your costumes - they were so cool! I don't remember you guys selling pumpkins - I wonder if we bought one?

Do you remember when I was a Rubik's cube, made out of a cardboard box? That was hard to fit in a car too :)

Anonymous said...

I always admired your mother's enthusiasm and creativity for Halloween. I always felt bad for P, M & K because their mother couldn't quite ever get it together for Halloween except for the times she made homemade Devil Dogs!!! :):):) !!!!!!!!!!!!! plm

Elena said...

Jimmy and I used to wear some of those same costumes. I vividly remember Jimmy in one of the mice costumes! We used to drive around in the car, too, and only went to the houses of relatives or close friends. Thanks for reminding me of all that fun. Oh, and nice pumpkins!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the memories. The seeds are my favorite part. Homemade Devil Dogs are worth six costumes. I remember one Halloween when Gramps, your great grandfather drove us around and "got lost" in Granby. I was young an gullible enough to be scared.
CA Auntie

Lisa said...

Those are craaazy pumpkins!

(Found you through 20SB!)

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