I grew up on a farm in Iowa. It wasn’t too far outside of what I call my ‘hometown.’ It was only a short few minutes’ drive into the small farming community that was the stage of my childhood.
Since our nearest neighbors were at least a half mile away, the rural life didn’t see much trick-or-treating. (Well, maybe that’s where all the ‘tricking’ happened…) Each Halloween my parents would bring my brothers and me into town to my grandparents’ house. That was Halloween ‘home base’ for us. We would then proceed to trick-or-treat with our Mom and Dad through my grandparents’ neighborhood while my grandparents handed out candy to all the other trick-or-treaters and awaited our return for dinner.
I was very young when I lost interest in Halloween. I was probably about 7 or 8 when I started to stay back and Grandma and Grandpa’s to pass out the candy rather than go out and get my own. This always meant my brothers had a lot more candy than I did, but that never once bothered me. I didn’t see why I’d wanna trek out in the cold night air on foot and have to wear a big heavy coat OVER my pretty costume I’d creatively thought up when I could stay indoors where it was warm and show off my costume to everyone who came to the door. It seemed the obvious choice to me.
I’m writing this the night before my 29th Halloween. I’m sitting barefooted at my computer with a sparkling water and some leftover chicken and squash relieved at having declined to attend yet another Halloween party. Because that’s the adult equivalent of trick-or-treating.
Tomorrow night two of my best friends will come to see me and we will walk precisely .5 blocks to one of the best restaurants in town and have a nice warm fancy dinner. I’m pretty sure that is what 8-year-old me wanted every time she stay at back alone with just her grandma and grandpa and watched all of the shenanigans from their front kitchen window.
I will be doing just that from Gjelina in Venice Beach, CA with two of my best friends (they’ll have to do for my grandparents this year) tomorrow night. And my inner child will smile. Just as she is tonight–barefooted with the fancy sparkling water and her imagination.