Happy Halloween – Then and Now by Erin Farwell

IMG_3021_1As a kid, I loved all things spooky so Halloween was a favorite holiday. I grew up on a farm in Michigan so by necessity, our costumes had to look good over or under something very warm or incorporate a coat into the overall design. This led to some pretty creative costumes. We didn’t have a lot of money but fortunately my mother is a talented seamstress and put together some great outfits for us over the years.Me at Halloween 001

Our neighbors’ homes were too far away to allow us to walk. Instead mom drove us from house to house so we could beg for treats. We would dash into the cold, ring the doorbell, and scream “Trick or Treat” before shouting a hasty “thank you” as we rushed back to the warm car. Some people made us slow down so they could admire our costumes, others just smiled after us as we ran away.

Despite the hurried nature of our Halloween outings, I enjoyed the sound of the rustling leaves underfoot as we ran from door to door and the sight of bare branches reaching toward a full moon. Empty fields stretched in all directions, a reminder that the harvest was complete.

Today I live in a suburb of Atlanta and never know if it will be hot or cold come Halloween night. My neighborhood is small and wooded, but with lots of friendly neighbors so we’ll walMichelle, Dianna & I Halloween 001k from house to house to Trick or Treat as we have since we brought Willow home from China when she was a year old. She’s thirteen now and I think this will be her last year to go trick or treating, which is sad and I wonder if my mother felt the same way when my siblings and I few too old for this tradition.

There are no bare fields where I live now but we do have an owl that spends late summer and fall living in our backyard so I trust I’ll hear a mournful hoot or two as we wander from one lit porch to the next. The trees are not quite bare yet but there are lots of leaves to crunch underfoot.Willow Halloween 001

I’m sure Willow will get plenty of candy; she always does. My neighbors are generous, as is my daughter. She’s not much of a candy girl so I can always count of a snicker bar or two coming my way and, despite my diet, I will gladly accept.

On this spookiest of days, let me wish you all a wonderful Halloween filled with the activities and small touches that make this holiday special for you. And have a snickers.

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17 thoughts on “Happy Halloween – Then and Now by Erin Farwell

  1. Happy Halloween, Erin! Love the pictures of the costumes, and great descriptions of country trick or treating. We had to drive quite a ways sometimes to get to houses to trick or treat. I remember one year–I was maybe 6–my aunt drove my cousins and me way back in the woods to trick or treat at the house of some people she knew, but I didn’t. It was dark–and I was really scared–and the car broke down. I remember my cousin Frank, who was a teenager then, promising he’d piggy back me out if nothing else.


  2. Happy Halloween to you and everyone else. Growing up in Illinois in a small community, I could see the car running and running from the door to the car. What great memories. Enjoy a piece of candy for me. Doris


  3. I loved Jalloween when I was a kid too. We were allowef to Trick or Treat even into adulthood, if you wanted to dress up. Out I. The country and little towns. It was muvh safer that way too. Then when we got home there were trick or treaters arriving up until midnight. Fun. Love the photo of the ghosts, but I really love the photo of your daughter. So cute. Thanks Cher’ley


  4. Hey, after one gets too old to trick-or-treat, one can always get out the toilet paper and do some tree branch decorating. Don’t worry, just kidding. I never did anything like that. Actually, I never did. Too much of a coward. Fun read, Erin. And your daughter is a cutie.


    1. Thanks and I did do the TP thing. Had a boyfriend who turned it into an art form so I learned from a master. 🙂 and thanks for the comment on the kiddo. She’s 13 now and still cute but there’s just something about her little face when she was young. 🙂


  5. Nice post, Erin, and you are tempting me way too much with the snickers. My grandchildren got dressed up today as a ladybug and a pirate and went ‘guising’- our name in Scotland for ‘trick or treat’. But since they are on ly 3 years and 7 months respectively they went to their other grannie. I used to have a lot of kids knock my door when my pupils stopped by but since I stopped teaching I don’t have visitors any more. I’m pretty sure next year will start that up again when my granddaughter’s young friends stop by. Nice photos of Willow to cherish, Erin.


  6. Happy Halloween. This may be Willows last year of trick or treating, but there will be costume parties in her future along with many more happy memories. Although things are done differently today last night I did see signs that some Halloween traditions continue. Smiling faces, pillow cases and homemade costumes can still be found in my area.


  7. Lovely post, Erin. It sure brings back memories of my Michigan childhood. We lived in town and never did the car thing. We walked and walked (sometimes over two miles) trick or treating, no matter what the weather was. One year our cousins came up to visit and we took them along. Some boys started bullying my oldest cousin (about six at the time) and as he was dressed as a mouse, they stepped on his tail and he started crying. It’s amazing what a family unit can do. My two sisters and little brother and I told those bullies that we were going to my dad and he’d contact the police and their parents. They ran off, we fixed our cousin’s tail, and we kept on trick or treating. We always laugh about that incident when we all get together, even now!


  8. Great costumes. I too started trick-or-treating in MI, but in a suburban area. I don’t remember being particularly cold, but I do recall bonfires and crackling leaves. When we moved to southern CA, it was definitely warmer. Here in northern CA, it is colder and the kids bundle up more, unless it’s raining like it was last night. Almost no one out.
    Fun memories.


  9. I, too, remember costumes and trick-or-treating as a child; I loved getting together with friends and walking the neighborhoods! These days, if possible, I go to the cabin and spend a relaxing (no-dogs-barking-as-doorbell-rings) night, which is what I did this year because it was 72 degrees here on Halloween! My neighbor said she had the most number of kids she can remember in several years … so the bell would have rung a lot and the dogs would have barked alot — I prefer serenity in the woods! I wouldn’t mind if you shared your owl, Erin! Hope you and Willow had a great time and that she shared her candy.


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