Hallowe’en – Old & New

Ah, Halloween.  We are sitting here wondering how many little ghosts and goblins will be visiting us.

For the past twenty years, we have had anywhere from 6 to 12 kids show up on the big night. Here in our new house we have already had about 35 costumed little ones.  The weather is perfect and they seem to be having fun.

Okay when I was a kid, a million years ago, we didn’t buy costumes.  Mom didn’t make costumes, either.  Can you imagine sewing costumes for 11 children?  Not gonna happen!

Here’s what we did.  We got home from school and went tearing through the house, pulling clothing out of dressers and closets. We put anything on, got out Mom’s pillow cases and off we went.  I think Mom enjoyed when we were out of the house for an hour or so.

The people who were giving out the treats didn’t buy boxes of chocolate bars or bags of chips. They gave out apples, or, if you were lucky (or unlucky) you got a bunch of those caramel-like candy “kisses” which were pretty well guaranteed to pull out any loose teeth or fillings.  Once in about twenty houses, they gave out a few Kraft caramels, and you had hit the jackpot.

When the pillowcase was full, you went home to look at your loot.  My four older brothers would probably go out for a second round, but the rest of us dumped the whole pillowcase of candy and apples in the middle of the living room floor.  It was a mound of anticipated pleasures, and we just sat staring at it.  Once in a while a family member would burst into the room and announce that the MacDonalds or the MacIsaacs were giving out candy apples and it was enough to make you regret coming home so soon.  Imagine, candy and apples together.

For the next few days, Mom would oblige us by baking a few apple pies but then the candy would rapidly begin to disappear.  It got assigned to the trash heap pretty quickly.

When our four girls were little, we put a lot of thought into what they wanted to be for Halloween and I even made a few costumes, and bought a few more.  I noticed in the seventies that Halloween was becoming more and more an adult celebration and I think that is a pity.  While I have never liked the emphasis on blood and death and terrifying images, I always thought that for little children it must be a little bit of magic.  You dress up, go out after dark, knock on peoples’ doors and they give you candy.  What could be more fun than that?


Happy Fall

It has been ages since I have done a blog post and I almost forget what to do. There have been a number of reasons that I haven’t been posting in a while.

As many of you know, we moved to Ottawa last December. We knew that there was no air conditioning in our house but in December, who cares?  In early June, the weather was getting hotter and we started to talk about buying a portable AC. My husband thought that we could get by without one but when we saw a good deal at Future Shop, we went for it. Thank God for that.

Ottawa had its hottest, driest summer ever and we were nice and cool.

My husband is an electrical engineer and here’s where the problem arose. He calculated the number of watts or megawatts or megasomethings that the AC was going to use, per day, or per hour, multiplied by the number of words I was going to key in, or something, and the upshot of it all is that I was not to use the computer unless the AC was off. I think there would have been explosions or something.

I told you it was the hottest summer EVER, didn’t I? So the AC was never off.

By the time the weather grew cooler, I had pretty well forgotten how to post blogs, but now that I have started again, there will likely be no stopping me.

During the summer I worked on my “novel” which is set in my home province of Nova Scotia. It is a romance, with a little mystery thrown in to make it  interesting.

This fall I began an art course. This time I am learning how to paint in acrylics, which is a new medium for me. For the last twenty years, I have been working in watercolours.

I have enjoyed being visited by my grandchildren and am amazed at how they are growing. Have you ever kissed your grandson’s cheek and felt whiskers? The grandchildren range in age from 6 to 15 and are incredibly wonderful.

My husband and I continue to walk and bike the trails of Ottawa and I will shortly (as soon as my daughter, Carla, is able to help me) set up a new blog on the trails of Ottawa. It will be mostly pictures of the changing seasons and the changing light on the paths around Ottawa.

I’m happy to be back and look forward to many more posts in the coming days.

Thanks for reading and have a good day!