It's almost Halloween! I look forward to this day every year. Halloween memories run strong for me: orange and black jack-o'-lantern buckets, popcorn balls, enough candy to last until Christmas. My first costume was Tweety Bird, one of those vinyl pull-overs, printed with the bird's yellow body, worn with a plastic mask that made me sweat and sweat. Later, I was a witch for a few years and after that, a "bum," or a "punk rocker," which were basically the same costume - old, ripped jeans, a big, baggy top, crazy hair; smudgy cheeks for the "bum," smudgy eyes for the "punk rocker." In college, Halloween was party after party, dorms and ancient walk-up apartments, dark and smoky, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" played on a hundred different stereos.
I haven't outgrown my love for Halloween. I love carving pumpkins and decorating the house (we like a cute, fun Halloween these days, not so much a scary one). And candy - oh, candy. Weeks before the day, we buy our first bag of candy corn. We are snobs: Brach's only! Candy corn is comforting in its sameness - sturdy yellow base, orange in the middle, teeny white wedge on top, familiar vanilla-honey taste. The Bear and I eat it at night, nibbling slowly, joking morbidly about what it does to our bodies. But we can't resist - to me, Halloween is candy corn. Overly sweet and garishly bright, it only appears once a year and it holds strong memories. We had count-the-corn-in-the-jar contests in school, back when you could still hand out candy in a school. The winner got a big handful, but the rest was saved and handed out piecemeal, two or three pieces at a time, over the remainder of the school year. Sometimes it was a prize for learning our spelling words or "times tables" (especially those darn 9's and 7's).
Halloween costumes are on my mind by August. Now that my children are older and I have more time, I try to make their costumes. They can usually wear them for a couple of years, with minor adjustments for growth. I wear a costume too - I'm a black cat every year. I wear a black shirt and black leggings and clip on a black, furry tail. Then I paint on some whiskers and don my black cat-ears headband. Meowwww! My GB and I go together - she's a little gray mouse, all soft and fuzzy in a thick gray sweatshirt with her mouse-ears headband and a black mousy nose and whiskers too. I chase my little gray mouse and eat her up in a hug. My big black spider boy falls prey too. This year, he'll wear a mask with silver glitter and red and blue lights - spooky futuristic spider is watching you!
On Halloween, we wait for that slice of the night just before dusk, late enough but not too late, and then we're off! We leave our glowing jack-o'-lanterns behind on the front walk and we hit the streets in search of Halloween adventure. The streets are full of neighbors. There is pinon smoke in the air; it's cold enough for fires now. We circle the blocks, greeting costumed friends - sometimes we need to guess at who is underneath. We stop to say hello to the couple who serve hot dogs in their driveway. We pet familiar dogs and sneak a peek into foyers and living rooms - kilim rugs, lighted lamps, dinner smells. The streetlights switch on; the space between them feels dark and empty. We hurry through the dark stretches, scurry past dark houses. We feel like we're flying up and down the streets, laughter and sugar carrying us aloft. The western sky fades gradually, blazing pink and orange at the horizon, pinprick stars appearing one by one. City lights sparkle on the black-velvet mesa. Laden with candy, we finish our circuit. There's a crisp breeze at our backs as we turn east and head up the hill toward home.
Don't forget to visit the other Color Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts. Just click on the links below:
Annie at Annie Cholewa
Sandra at Cherry Heart
Gillian at Tales from a happy house.
CJ at Above the River
and October's guest poster, Steph at Woolythyme
What is The Color Collaborative?
All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a color related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about color in new ways.