It’s the most wonderful time of the year
Bonfires are a roasting
Pumpkins are glowing
And sacks brim with Three Musketeers…
Ah, yes, the spooky pleasures of Halloween. While I still enjoy dress-up parties and decking my halls with ghouls, my fondest memories date back to my trick-or-treating days. The world was a more innocent place, where we were allowed to run rampant through the St. Paul streets of tract housing collecting candy in a pillowcase. Scampering past the cemeteries in the neighborhood, squealing with delight over scary decorations and music provided by adults who reveled in the holiday spirit brought me and my crew unadulterated joy.
Drama was limited back then. It was big news if someone was shoved down for their sack or found a razor blade in an apple. (I happened to be especially safe from such hazards because I could run like the wind and didn’t consider any fruit a Halloween delicacy). Trust was a more common given. A woman known as the Fudge Lady provided her homemade goods in Saran Wrap as did a few popcorn ball rollers. We consumed them without a care.
Then it was off to Grandma Irma’s house on Arlington Avenue not far from the elementary school. She was actually my best friend Mary Jo’s grandma, but lucky for me, Mary Jo was willing to share. A quintessential gran was Irma, short and round with a twinkle in her eye and a husky laugh full of merriment. She even owned a puppy, one named Pudge, whose toenails clicked across the kitchen floor whenever we showed up at the back door.
To this day, I can’t believe that old lady hosted an annual after-party in her basement for hooligans like us! Painted walls and tiled flooring in our neighborhood basements were considered fairly swank; and her basement on that night with its cheap paper decorations and buffet of homemade cookies and punch was as appealing as any hotel ballroom at any writers’ convention I’ve ever attended. The highlight of the evening was bobbing for apples. Back then the practice was already outdated, but I’ve always wondered if it was something Grandma Irma did as a child. As a grown woman, I’ve come to feel such gratitude for her putting up with all the pandemonium and what had to be quite a soggy mess.
Speaking of gratitude and anticipation, I’d like to use this venue to reach all my writer and reader friends with a big thank you. The New Year will mark my five year survival of breast cancer. I am, to the best of my knowledge, cancer free! The road hasn’t been easy. My bad reaction to the meds has made my life a painful struggle. I’ve been living in slow motion, which of course has taken a toll on my writing schedule. But many loyal people have stuck with me through it all and for that I feel Enormous Gratitude. I anticipate that my writing schedule will again be picking up momentum in the months to come. I’ve so missed entertaining everyone.
Meanwhile, I have two Halloween stories you might enjoy:
YOU CALLED, Leandra Logan, Deadly Treats Anthology, edited by Anne Frasier
SEND IN THE CLOWNS, Leandra Logan, Amazon Kindle
Here’s wishing you a wonderful Grandma Irma Halloween!
Mary Jane Schultz/Leandra Logan