Autumn Delights

propic11_1_1This post by L.Leander, Author of Fearless Fiction

I’ve always loved October. In our part of the world it’s when the trees put on their finest and each vies with the other to be the most outstanding. The result is a scene that is breathtaking, as with the naked eye you drink in the brilliant colors displayed on a backdrop of blue sky and white fluffy clouds. I often stand admiring the beauty around me and thank God for creating a world for us to enjoy and appreciate.trees

See fabulous Wisconsin/Michigan Fall Color HERE

In my childhood, at some point in early October, we’d bring out the rakes. Since we had a very large yard this was a chore and was given to us four children to do. We absolutely loved it! It was never work toraking us, but playtime instead. We’d rake up a big pile of leaves and throw them at each other; then rake again. We’d take turns lying on the ground while the others totally covered the lucky one with a mound of leaves. I can still remember the sound of the crispy leaves as they landed on me; the freshness of the cool October air; the laughter as we ganged up on one another. As a final treat, when we finally tired of playing in them, we actually raked the leaves into piles, put them in a wheelbarrow or wagon and deposited them at the curb in front of our house. That night my Dad would set fire to the leaves, but not before my mother wrapped potatoes, onions, carrots and seasonings in several firelayers of aluminum foil and deposited them among the leaves. We waited anxiously, helping Dad tend the leaves so they wouldn’t catch something on fire, but that never happened. This was the way we got rid of the leaves in the town where I lived. After a while of burning and tending, the leaves smoldered and went out. Then Dad would use a set of tongs to retrieve the foil-wrapped potatoes and we’d feast on them with cider and doughnuts for dessert. The next day, once the leaves were mostly ash, we’d help load them into bags and take them to the local dump. Dad always let us sit on the back of the truck while we rode and once he backed up to the dumping area we’d heave the bags into the pit.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

To learn about how Halloween began click HERE

Just for fun Halloween Website HERE

Facts and pictures about Dia de los Muertos HERE

Halloween is my favorite holiday. Actually it’s Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) katrinabut since they are close and I’m back in the US, it’s Halloween. As a kid we really did it up right. We decorated the house with all sorts of pumpkins, bats, ghosts and witches. My mother was an artist, so she had some really fantastic ideas for decorating and costumes.


My siblings and I loved playing dress-up and Halloween was the most fun. Mom let us decide what or whom we wanted to be and then helped us create the costume. One of my very favorite costumes of all  was an evening dress with over-the-elbow gloves, my hair gowndone up in curls and a tiara. I felt like a movie star. Of course, I had to endure my hair done up in rags all night to get the curls and I may have stumbled once or twice over the hem, but I did win best costume in our school competition. I was about eleven at the time. The dress and gloves were from another era, when women wore evening gowns to go out to special events and my aunt gave it to us to play dress-up. It was lime green and I felt like Cinderella, very glamorous.

We generally had our cousins along to trick-or-treat with us and did we ever have fun! First, we had a light supper before my Mom and Aunt decorated a table with witches and pumpkins, cobwebs and ghosts. Mom usually designed a special cake that was something to behold. They served us cake; some red drink they said was blood, grapes for eyeballs and spaghetti for brains. At the time we were young enough to believe them and screamed in delight as we ate our “ghoulish” treats.

Then it was time to get dressed in our costumes and take off for a night of fun. Back in my day there was no fear of knocking on people’s doors, no fear of wandering around the town alone, no fear of being trckortreatabducted or hurt. We were just six little kids having a blast. When we passed our friends we’d all compare our bags of treats to see who had the most. We often walked a couple of miles if we didn’t tire out too much. At some houses we were invited in for cider and doughnuts and pictures. At others a wicked witch or monster handed us our treat. We screamed in delight.

Back at the house Mom, Dad, my Uncle and Aunt dressed appropriately and handed out candy to every little trick-or-treater that came along. Since our house was on a corner a block from town we got hit hard. Dad once had to go get a bushel of apples from a friend because he ran out of treats and the store was closed to get more candy.

When we returned home with our booty Mom and Dad would ooh and ah over the treasures we’d received. We were allowed to keep our bags in the closet in each of our bedrooms as long as we solemnly promised not to eat too much at one time. Yeah, right! One time my little brother began throwing up orange pumpkins and after that the fun was over. My Mother kept the candy and doled it out.

girlbikeI loved riding my bicycle in the fresh October air. By then gloves, a hat and warm coat were a necessity, but I roamed the streets of town enjoying the last delights of summer and began to eagerly anticipate winter fun. I’d ride my bike until I was so cold I had to go home or freeze. But the memories are worth it.

Later, when my own children had Halloween parties at school, I was the first to volunteer to help. I always dressed as something different (one year I was a grape, right down to the purple tights!). Carving pumpkins was something my kids loved and since we grew our own we had lots of fun decorating them. Those pumpkins, cornstalks, corn brooms and ghosts and witches decorated our house and it was hard to get the kids to let me take them down until Christmas came and I could lure them into visions of sugar plums.

I often took my children on long walks through the hardwoods in October. We had to wear orange clothing and talk loud, because it was the start of hunting season, and even though we walked on our ownhobgob property, one never knows who might disregard the “keep out” signs. The children picked up leaves that we took home and ironed between sheets of waxed paper, just as I did as a child.

I have many other wonderful memories of October. What are some of yours? I’d love to hear them!leaf


Books by L.Leander:

Inzared Queen of the Elephant Riders Video Trailer

INZARED bookcoverkindle







Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders


Inzared, The Fortune Teller Video Trailer








Inzared, The Fortune Teller (Boook 2









13 Extreme Tips to Self Publishing









13 Extreme Tips to Marketing an ebook


You can also find L.Leander here:

L.Leander Website

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L.Leander’s Book Reviews and Interviews






18 thoughts on “Autumn Delights

  1. Linda, this is a fun post. Can’t add too many memories that you haven’t already covered. Lol. I had a big bussel, on the but of the dress I dressed up in. Loved all the colorful photos. Cher’ley


    1. Childhood memories are so much fun, aren’t they? A bustle sounds beautiful – I would have liked that too. My getup was more of a 40s-50s thing, but I felt very beautiful in the lime green satin evening gown with the gloves to match that came up to my armpits. Thanks for commenting Cherley. I think our childhoods were much the same!


    1. Thank you Doris. When I was six, for Halloween my mother and grandmother made me an Indian Princess. They took an old gunny sack and put holes for head and arms. They made a headdress of feathers. I was allowed to go with my aunt (who is only a few years older than I) to school, where they had a party and parade. All I can remember of that incident is how badly I wanted to get home and take off that drasted, itchy gunny sack!


  2. I love your stories of raking leaves and your Halloween costumes, Linda! We used to play in the leaves on raking day too. I loved jumping or falling into the pile of leaves after it had been raked up. We messed up the pile several times before we finally stopped playing. My mom never put foil wrapped food in the burning leaves though. What a great idea!


    1. Isn’t playing in the leaves fun? I suppose my neighbors would think I had some rare form of disease if they saw a woman over 60 rolling and jumping in the leaves. So I take the dog out and let her do it for me. She loves it! She always brings a special leaf in the house for me. lol


  3. I also wanted to say that for several years, I hosted a Dia de los Muertos party as close as possible to Nov.1 or 2. I haven’t done one in a while, but it was a lot of fun–as well as a chance to share memories.


    1. I love,love,love Dia de los Muertos. In Mexico the celebration is reverent (remembering those who have passed) and a fiesta for those who are still here. The parade that winds through the part of old town is a riot! You follow the beer wagons pulled by donkeys and hold your glass up to be filled or refilled. There are so many great costumes and the laughter is infectious. I really miss it!


  4. Wonderful column, just the kind of stuff I love to read. Reading about raking up the leaves and playing in and with them reminded me of my Grandpa Frog. He had a metal barrel in the far backyard. He’d pile leave in it (and trash as well) and burn everything in the barrel. Back then folks were allowed to burn trash. That way he didn’t need to pay for trash pickup. Loved the bit about your mom helping you prepare your costume and your trick-or-treating. Again, it brings back memories — and indeed we went all over the town back in the early ’60s and didn’t worry about being abducted. Before the trick-or-treating, we’d go to the school carnival as well where we’d play carnival games and participate in the costume contest. I never won… mine were pretty mundane. In some ways, I think partying 20-somethings have stolen Halloween away from kids.


    1. I think you may be right with your last line, Mike. The world has changed, and instead of Halloween being a special time for kids (where they can walk and trick or treat) is long gone due to “partying 20-somethings” and a world that is full of predators and danger. I’m so thankful I grew up in a time when none of that was happening. I just got to be a kid, I didn’t have to learn the computer, I had no laptop or cell phone, I had three siblings to play with (and what we didn’t dream up, and a world that wasn’t scary, but an adventure waiting to happen every single day. So sad our children nowadays miss all that. I’m all for higher learning but I’m a firm believer in letting preschool children be children without all the stress of learning new technology. I honestly think we learned more by observing, playing, having special times with mothers and fathers, with no worry about what life would bring. I’m just saying……….


  5. Sadly I think the carefree days of trick or treating are on their way out. Most parents no longer make costumes, instead they rush to the store to buy one. Children often attend parties instead of going door to door. My favorite costume as a child was a princess. My mother made the dress, complete with a full skirt, a tiara of aluminum foil and cardboard. The favorite creation I came up with for my daughter was a tree. She was a small child and for less than $3.00 she had a great Halloween costume we made together.


    1. I agree, coming up with costume designs and making them were such fun! It’s so much different (and expensive) to go to the Halloween Shop and pick our a costume. I was a princess one year, but I still liked the evening gown best. I love the tree idea. I bet your daughter was adorable! I dressed my daughter one year as Raggedy Ann. She looked just like the doll because she had the most beautiful, long red hair that I braided, she had plenty of freckles, and I made her a dress and pinafore (which she was able to wear to school afterward. I’m so sorry for the children of today that they don’t enjoy these treasures.


  6. Great post, Linda! I, too, remember dressing up for Halloween and going with friend to trick-or-treat. As an adult I’m not that big on Halloween as I see a lot of disturbing darkness cropping up over the years: evil-oriented movies, grizzly costumes… so as much as I can, I run and hide at my cabin … but I usually pass out a few pieces of candy beforehand to help the little ones enjoy like I did when I was their age. Be safe!


    1. Thanks for commenting, Gayle. I don’t really celebrate Halloween much now, except for a few pumpkins and a bowl of candy for the neighborhood children. I agree with you, over the years Halloween has turned scary for real. I’d be afraid to let my children out to trick or treat alone in this environment. So sad they won’t have the happy memories we have! If I had a cabin I’d probably retreat to it too!


  7. Lovely post, Linda and your fall photos and memories are wonderful. I always ‘invented’ my hallowe’en costumes when I was a child, made from bits of this and that. Some were incredibly stupid and others were just plain fun. Using broadsheet newspapers to wrap myself as a ‘mummy’ wasn’t too successful since it took too much Sellotape and the rain made me a very soggy mummy with bits falling off me. i dread to think now of the paper pollution I caused!


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