Sunday, October 31, 2010

Days of Halloween Passed

When I was a kid, Halloween night seemed to last forever. I remember the paths we'd take, up and down neighbourhood avenues and along a particular stretch of a main street, where some stores shelled out all-day suckers and bags of chips to the princesses, ghosts, witches and skeletons which paraded through their shops. We'd dart back and forth across otherwise empty streets to the houses where pumpkins glowed on their front porches.

People were generous, which was a good thing because we kids were greedy, rushing home to empty our heavy, near-full bags to discover that its enormous weight was due to at least a dozen apples. We didn't worry much back then, about finding sinister items in our treats. The only nutcases to be found were those which encased handfuls of loose peanuts. Candy bars were a rare and most welcomed coup. We'd sort the mound of goodies into a few piles - apples, peanuts, molasses candy kisses, chocolate treats and lolli-pops. And gum, which was usually boxed in mini-packets of two Chicklets each. Of course we also always carried around UNICEF boxes, which were usually filled to capacity, and turned in at school the next day.

I think Halloween was my Dad's favourite holiday to capture on film. He used to have a movie camera, and I can remember seeing endless, silent footage of children arriving at our door, holding out bags and waddling off in their over-sized costumes, to ring the next doorbell. Mom also got into the act. As the camera turned in toward our own living room, there was Mom, all dressed up as a hobo in Dad's plaid shirt, baggy pants and a floppy hat. Her ensemble complete with the black paper which came inside boxes of chocolates, secured around her front teeth to create the illusion that she'd been gummin' it for years. She didn't need to be reminded to show off her toothless grin that night. She cracked her own self up, and her smile was ever-present.

A decade later, I can remember my parents hosting a costume party for adults only. My sister and I were too young to be a part of the fun, but old enough to understand why we were excluded. We didn't hang around that night, but we did see the photographs sometime later. Mom decided that she'd be some sort of plumber-toilet hybrid that year. Her costume consisted of an apron, rubber gloves, boots and a plunger. Around her neck sat an actual (unused) opened toilet seat, and a roll of toilet paper perched on top of her head. Dad regressed into infancy, and wore a nightgown and baby bonnet with matching booties. In his mouth was a giant, boob-shaped pacifier. He might not have done much talking that night.

Once I started partying on my own, I hosted a "fictional character" theme costume party, one Halloween. My friend Carol Anne and I worked hard at designing and creating our costumes. My boyfriend and I dressed up as Peter Pan and Tinkerbell respectively, only briefly considering reversing the roles. I used wires, plastic wrap and glitter to make my wings, and aluminum foil was used to wrap up a star-tipped wand. I ended up spreading so much fairy dust glitter around, that I continued to vacuum it from my small apartment for months, perhaps years later. Somewhere I have photos, but I'm sober, and I'm not going to post them.

The best costume, by far, was Carol Anne's "Cat in the Hat" of Dr. Seuss fame. Like I said, we worked long and hard at creating them and just minutes before the party began, I helped her with the finishing touches. The body portion of her costume consisted of all black - leggings and a turtle-neck jersey. A leotard, complete with wiry tail was worn over the first two items, and a hood with ears for the cat's head was tucked inside her collar. Before topping that headpiece off with the famous red and white striped hat, we needed to secure the hood by sewing it into the turtleneck jersey, creating the illusion of an all-in-one piece. Black make-up gave her some cat's eyes, a black nose and whiskers. Once she added the hat, Carol Anne looked great, and quite proud of herself, she happily poured a drink and went about enjoying the party.

Everyone arrived in some amazing costumes, but there was no doubt that The Cat in the Hat was the hit of the party. Carol Anne struck up a conversation with an old friend and she poured herself another drink while he admired her costume. He asked her about how she put it together. Proud of her handiwork, and of our brilliant idea to secure the costume by sewing her into it, she went into detail describing the process. He smiled. Then he laughed. Then he just looked at her and laughed some more. Finally he asked her "How are you supposed to go pee if you're sewn into that thing?"

Carol Anne stood there, quietly blinking. She may have uttered a mild expletive as she put her drink down. She never poured another one for the rest of the night and we both learned something about the value of Velcro.

Fast-forward to today. My kids are now adults - long past the age for trick-or-treat. My older son has a house of his own and will be "shelling out" this year for the first time under his own roof. Their years of running around the streets in costume with a UNICEF box seem to have lasted such a short time. The excitement they felt when getting ready to charge the neighbourhood was contagious. I couldn't help but feel transformed back to my own youth alongside them. I hope that when they think back to those years, they will remember the magic of those special nights, and feel the joy in discovering them all over again with their own children.

What were some of your own, or your kids' favourite
Halloween costumes? Here are a few photos of my kidlets in costume from various days of Halloween past (and a couple of images of how they appear today). Please excuse the poor quality of the photos. They were scanned and enlarged considerably.

From a very young age, Jeffrey knew what he wanted and often figured out a way to achieve it. When he was three, his wish to dress up as an all-season tree had me 'stumped'. I scanned images of autumn leaves, winter snowflakes, spring flowers and summer apples, and used markers to give them colour. This was back in 1990 and I didn't have a colour printer yet. I cut the shapes out and glued them to a piece of green material. A trip to the craft store provided me with the birds and nest that we perched atop his head. Velcro might have been involved.

Here's Jeffrey all set to put out fires in neighbourhood Jack-O'-Lanterns. By the time he was in Junior Kindergarten, he was fascinated with the idea of becoming a fire fighter - and a doctor, and a garbage collector, and a scientist, and ...

As it turned out, he now dresses like this, an Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces. This photo was taken when I visited his home (about 5 hours from my own) in early September. He's on course for Air Traffic and Air Weapons Control.

Aladdin was very popular when Jeffrey was 6. His birthday was the previous April and he wanted an Aladdin theme party, hence the birthday banner behind him. Six months later he wanted to dress up as his favourite character and hit the streets with his sidekick...

At age 3, Alex was now old enough to join his brother. He was less opinionated than Jeffrey and allowed us to dress him as Abu, the primate that accompanies Aladdin. It quite suited his little monkyish character.

On to scarier costumes. I'm surprised my kids sat still for the make-up jobs that were inflicted upon them over the years, but they happily endured it twice a day - for the school parade and at night. Here's Jeffrey being a not-so-scary vampire.

Alex waddled through the streets dressed as a dinosaur. At 4, he was less inclined to sit still for a full make-up job....

But at aged 5, he showed tremendous patience. Alex loved being a tiger so much that we painted him up the same way for the following Halloween.

He has since abandoned the tiger look and grown his own very impressive lion-like mane. This was taken a few months ago. That guitar seems to be a regular part of his dress code too.

I hope you enjoyed these costume photo from when my kids were little.

Happy Halloween everyone!

This was mostly a repost from a couple of years back. Only the photos and descriptions of my adult sons are recent. Thanks for reading.


Indrani said...

Great pictures Hilary.
We never had the Halloween concept during my growing years, but now the this concept is catching up fast with the children here.
My daughters insist on costumes, and I have to rack my brains for new ideas. :) Great read this post.

Rosaria Williams said...

What beautiful memories! I have never been very crafty, pulling a costume idea from thin air. Thank God my children were willing to make do with whatever we could come up with at the last minute.

MaggieGem said...

Great memories Hilary! I've never been very good at making costumes, but sure looks like you had some good ideas for the boys.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Love the pics! Your kids' costumes were fabulous.

I laughed out loud about Carol Anne sewing herself into the costume-- and even m ore at the guy who figured her "problem" out. Ha!

Happy Halloween!

Anonymous said...

What wonderful costumes!

Living abroad and going to boarding school means that Halloween passed me by as a kid.

Here in Sweden, where I live as an ex-pat, it's very low-key: no one really gets the date right and might turn up a day early or a day late!

Jinksy said...

I might have known you'd be in the thick of the fray come Halloween! Your sense of fun makes it a given! Thanks for this trip down memory lane, and do award yourself a putty medal for the costumes and makeup along the way...

Tabor said...

A nice trip down YOUR memory lane. You must be so proud of both of them...opposite ends of the rainbow it looks like.

Sueann said...

Love your pictures and the trip down memory lane, It is amazing how time flies by!!

Anonymous said...

You must be so proud of your sons! -I know I am, got three myself aged 19,21 and 22. Looking at photos from their earlier years is a bitter-sweet experience, at least to me. How quickly they grew up and how wonderful all these years were...
Well, in some years, maybe there will be new little treasures for us to follow as their fathers make us proud once again - being just that- fathers...All the best!/Catarinah
PS. My google account is making my life difficult, sorry no photo...God and Google willing, next time...DS.

Moannie said...

Totally loved it all, the stories of Halloweens past, the photos then and now. I love the first jaket, sweater, with all the leaves on. So colouful...and what stunners they turned out to be.

Brian Miller said...

smiles. a nice look back the tiger and the aladin outfits...nicely done...i remember dressing up like a g i joe....need to go back and check some of my parents pics to see what else...two fine young men you grea up there...smiles.

Pat - Arkansas said...

We must not have had a camera, or I was a negligent mother; I have no photos of my kids in Hallowe'en costume. I enjoyed reading your memories, and seeing your children as they were and are. You have handsome sons. I am envious of Alex's hair!

Unknown said...

You have gorgeous young men Hilary! Loved the photos and the creativity that went into each costume.
One of my favorites that I did for my girls was making them each look like a giant Hershey Kiss. I can't tell you how many coat hangers I used to make the frame and the tons of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil that was used to cover them. The easiest part was the little tap that stuck out at the top that said: Hershey Kiss. They were the hit of that particular Halloween party.

Mental P Mama said...

Love these pictures, and our trip down your memory lane;) Such good times....

ellen abbott said...

I was doing this day before yesterday, looking at old halloween pictures of the kids thinking to post them. Can't find some of the best though. I'll have to look again.

She Who Carries Camera said...

You certainly took a lot of time, thought and creativity into those costumes. What a great Mom! And the memories of your Halloweens as a kid describe mine almost to a "T", except for the apples, I don't remember ever receiving any. But, the Unicef boxes ~ here's a memory that my older brother and I still bring up from time to time ~ we'll never forget it. At one house a kid who was probably around 10 or 11 (it was getting later into the evening, so his evening out was probably already over) answered the door and when we said "Trick or Treat for Unicef" the kid turned around and yelled to his parents "The beggars are here!" (Little twerp). It was so embarrassing that neither my brother or I have ever forgotten it.

Zuzana said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this recollection of your Halloweens past (even if it is re-posted).
Your sons are gorgeous and they were very cute as kids.
I did not grow up with Halloween celebration, as it was not common to celebrate this in vast part of Europe. However, this holiday seems to be contagious and within the last decade it has taken off and is celebrated here as well, even though to a lesser extend still.
Happy Halloween dear friend,

DJan said...

Your sons are handsome and accomplished young men today, but yesteryear? They were awesome! What a great trip down Memory Lane, and since I wasn't following you last year, it's all new to me!!

Frank Baron said...

Cute stories that kick-started a few memories for me too.

You sure went all-out in the costume department. I usually just wrapped my guys up in a roll of toilet paper and sent them out as mummies.

Land of shimp said...

Happy Halloween, Hilary! Your sons are both very handsome young men, but I do get a kick out of how they have both grown into ...if not opposites...then evidence of "nature over nurture". I know for a fact, having spoken to you about this very thing, that you're a great mom and that's even clearer from the fact that your two sons developed into individuals.

Great costumes :-) Such nice evidence of a happy past, for one thing. Great young men issued forth from those happy times.

Well, this has been my treat among the tricks for the day. How seasonally fitting! Thank you.

Grayquill said...

The first line to give me a Sunday morning chuckle was, "but I'm sober, and I'm not going to post them." Then of course the image of your friend’s dismay in realizing her predicament for a potty break. That was a good one.
I was a particular pragmatic lazy costume boy. Hobo always - Easy and produced the candy - Mission accomplished.

Lori said...

I so enjoyed reading about your Halloweens past when you were growing up and those with your own children. They sure do grow up fast don't they? Your son's surely grew up to be handsome young men. How proud you must be of them Hilary.

Thank you for sharing your memories of Halloween!

Happy Halloween to you and yours! XX

Anonymous said...

Oh Hilary that was so nice to read!!! I feel like I know you a little better now! The photos are great, I especially love Jeffrey's first choice! (no kidding right??)

I remember Unicef boxes, and the foolish "hoods" of our class trying to open them up and swipe the pennies. My bff and I tattled on them, the little brats.

Gosh, my memories of Halloween are few and far between, but I do remember parties as an adult. I think my most "raved-over" costumes were Paul Stanley from Kiss one year, Gene Simmons the next (with fake tongue made of that craft gel, it was grossely realistic); and one year, I went as Mike Tyson...with a fake, bloodied ear hanging around my neck.
Hope you enjoy today! :)

Karen said...

Hilary, I did enjoy them. It's fun looking back, and how they've grown. You have some handsome young men.

messymimi said...

Thanks for sharing the pics of your wonderful boys with us.

My favorite costume for my kids by far was the year Bigger Girl, then 6, wanted to be wrapped in tin foil with fake food glued to it -- she said she was leftovers!

NJ said...

Thanks for sharing your halloween memories. We lived in a gas camp in Southern Alberta. I remember my mother putting a nylon stocking over her head. I was amazed at how it transformed didn't look like her at all. She completed her costume my donning some of my father's old clothes. She went across the street and hollered trick or treat and the neighbour came out and said hi Dorothy do you want a beer.

My brother once devised a scarecrow costume completed with a stick trhough the sleeves of his shirt. It was awesome but frustrating for him because he had to turn sideways to get in all the doorways...shortly after the stick came out.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

Your 2 sons seem to be sort of yin and yang in their outlooks, perhaps? :)

Paul C said...

Jeffrey as a tree...that costume is simply the best that I have seen. What a loving, creative mother!

Mage said...

Simply delightful and charming. Wonderful pictures that just pull us right in. I'm sitting her grinning. Thanks........handsome adults too.

Sandra said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this, Hilary. My favorite costume that we used was when Gunny was a sack of groceries. I'm going to see if I can find a picture of it to post.

I enjoyed your memories of your childhood Halloween's too. Your parents sound like they were fun.

Lisa said...

Oh Hilary, that was so great, the tree of all seasons was the best!! When you fast forwarded to today you made me cry. If only we could have some time back with our kids when they were little; what a slice of heaven that would be.

Pauline said...

This was a wonderful journey down Halloween's memory lane. My but your sons are handsome fellows!

solarity said...

I am so stealing the tree costume next year at work! I'll have to plan it so it's dog-proof, but surely I can wear some birds on my head!

Mary Anne in Kentucky

Cheryl Kohan said...

Oh, it was so much fun reading this post and looking at the photos! Your boys had awesome costumes!! That Carol Anne sounds like a hoot!!

I should hunt up some of my kids and grandkids, too.

One year our kids were gypsies (the girls) and Darth Vader (our son). We also had clowns on one occasion and Jennie was a pumpkin. I sewed all of the costumes.

When our first grandchild was five months old my daughter was living in Nebraska and Jack and I were in Chicago. I made a bunny costume for her and it was SO adorable.

Thank you for tweaking my memory.

lime said...

how sweet and what fun pictures of your now grown boys. i was a clown for many years in a costume my grandmother sewed for me. the year my oldest was in kindergarten i completely forgot about a costume for her until the night before. i had no money either. 2 paper shopping bags, some markers, scissors and glue and i had a cute tiger cat costume for her.

~JarieLyn~ said...

It was wonderful going down memory lane with you. I liked the little vampire costume. Very cute. Both of your boys are so handsome. Alex with his long hair and that guitar..... whew! That's the look I went for when I was in high school.

Anonymous said...

He's done you proud, Hilary!
:) The Bach

VM Sehy Photography said...

Those costumes are cool. I was never that handy with the make-up. I'm so happy my son wants to do his own costumes and make-up. Much easier for me.

SandyCarlson said...

Beautiful photos. I admire your son and his choice.

Halloween is a wonderful holiday for letting us try on different selves and having fun in the process. The imagination is a powerful and frightening resource. Perhaps that's why some call it the devil. But we know better. We know the creative spirit takes us home and each of us alone st find it.

I hope your son is safe and well.

Slamdunk said...

I am sure they have wonderful memories of the time they spent with family during holidays like these.

I think my fav costume was one our oldest sone wore a few years ago: a shark with a person's legs hanging out of its mouth.

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

I really enjoyed reading about your childhood and young adult Halloween experiences. I am so NOT creative, but I love seeing the creativity of other people. You'd think some of it would eventually rub off on me. So, do your sons read your blog? If so, how are they going to feel about some of these pictures being posted?

steviewren said...

That was a nice trip down memory lane. My oldest son and Jeffery sported the same haircut when they were young. I'm always amazed by the ingenuity that people put into their costumes. I love that lion make-up.

Hilary said...

• Indrani, thank you. I'm sure you've come up with great costumes for your daughters. Perhaps you'll share some photos sometime. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Lakeviewer, thank you. Between my kids and myself, I'm not sure who had more fun with it. Thanks for the visit. :)

• MaggieGem, they kept me on my creative toes. :)

• Joanna, thank you kindly. I'm glad you got a laugh out of Carol Anne's predicament. We did too. Happy Boo Day to you too. :)

• LadyFi, thank you. Too bad you never knew this event as a child. But I'm sure you had many other occasions in its place. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Jinsky, thanks kindly, my friend. I'm glad you stopped by for a visit. :)

• Tabor, indeed they are.. and you're right about my pride. Shows, does it? ;)

• So true, SueAnn. Too quickly, don't you think? Thanks for stopping by. :)

• DS, I share your sentiments about our respective sons - pride, how quickly the years have passed and hopes for their futures. Thanks so much for your warm comments. :)

• Moannie, thank you so much. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. Your kind words are very much appreciated. :)

• Brian, thank you kindly. I'm sure you were a cute G.I. Joe. Maybe you'll share some of your pics if you do find them? Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Pat, I'm glad you enjoyed the photos and stories. And I'm right with you on feeling envious of Alex's hair. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Jane, thank you kindly. I can only imagine how adorable your girls looked dressed as Hershey kisses. What a great idea. Thanks for sharing. :)

• MPM, thanks very much. I'm glad you enjoyed. :)

• Ellen, I've since seen your post and it's delightful. You made some wonderful costumes for your kidlets. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Jillsy, thanks so much for sharing your Halloween memory. That certainly was a horrible thing for the kid to say. No wonder it's stuck with you all these years. Thanks for your kind words. They're so appreciated. :)

• Zuzana, my friend, thank you kindly. I'm finding it interesting to hear how this occasion has begun to catch on in places it was never celebrated before. Good thing because it's such fun. Thanks always for the visit. :)

• DJan, thanks so much for the kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

• Frank, I've known people who have TPd houses on Halloween but never their kids. If only I believed you. :)

• Alane, thank you so kindly - Ye of long, wonderful comments. Yes, as we've discussed, my boys are indeed opposites in many ways. It keeps life interesting. Thanks so much for your lovely comments, my friend. They're so appreciated. :)

• Grayquill, I'm glad you got a couple of chuckles out of this post. And a hobo costume must have been nice and easy on your mom. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Hilary said...

• Lori, thank you so much for your kind words. You're right about how proud I am of my sons. You sure know what that's like. Thanks for the good wishes.. right back at you. :)

• Thanks, Rain. I'm not at all surprised that you liked the tree costume. ;) It sounds like you had some fun parties yourself with great costume ideas. Thanks for sharing and thanks always for your kindness. :)

• Thanks kindly, Karen. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

• MessyMimi, your daughter's idea for a costume is priceless. I'd love to see photos. Thanks for your kind comments. :)

• NJ, that's a hilarious story about your Mom. Certainly one to remember fondly. And your brother's costume must have been a riot. People usually figure out what not to include in a costume after one uncomfortable experience. I suppose your brother's scarecrow was that experience. Thanks for sharing your tales. :)

• Gary, that they are. It makes life interesting. ;)

• Paul, thank you so much for the kind words. They're very much appreciated. :)

• Maggie, thanks very kindly. I'm so glad you enjoyed the photos. :)

• Sandra, I'd love to see your son as a Gunny sack... of groceries, of course. Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

• Lisa, it's hard not to wish we had those wee ones back in our arms again sometimes, isn't it? Then again, they're doing what they're supposed to do.. grow up, and away. Sigh! Now you've got me weepy too. Thanks a LOT! ;) Thanks for dropping by. I'm really glad you enjoyed it. :)

• Thanks very much, Pauline. I'm glad you were entertained. :)

• Mary Anne, you're more than welcome to the tree idea. The birds are probably dog-proof but you might have to worry about the predatory instincts of your cats. ;)

• Cheryl, thanks very much. I'd love to see photos of your kids and grandkids' costumes. They sound wonderful. And good for you for sewing them all. It's such a fun time, isn't it? Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Lime. You sure are creative to make a tiger costume out of such meager supplies. I'm not at all surprised. Thanks for the always-kind words. :)

• JariLyn, thanks kindly. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. And my son's hair. ;)

• Thanks, Bach. They both have, for sure. :)

• VM, that's the way to do it. Have a creative kid so he can do his own costumes. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Sandy, your comment is lovely. I love how you look at imagination and creativity. Your students are the ones who benefit from that. Lucky them. Thanks for such kind words, my friend. They're so appreciated. :)

• Slamdunk, that shark costume sounds hilarious. I'll bet it was a huge hit! Thanks for sharing that and thanks also for your kind words. :)

• Linda, both of my sons read my blog on occasion. I think the older one catches up on posts in one shot every now and then and the younger one reads it when nudged. ;) They're both fine with the photos being posted although when I did this post for the first time, a few of Jeffrey's military school buddies got hold of it and pranked him with it. I had one more photo of each boy in that post and the one of Jeffrey was as a bag of jelly beans. He came back to his room one day to find prints of that photo all over his walls. He got a laugh out of it, and he knew I was going to repost. I decided to leave that photo out this time. ;) As for Alex, I nudged him to read it today and he thought it was "cool." Of course I knew he wouldn't mind or I wouldn't have posted it.. or at least wouldn't have shown it to him. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Steviewren. It's quite a compliment to hear that from an artist such as yourself. I suspect you had some very fine costumes for your own kids. Maybe you'll share some photos sometime.. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Tammie Lee said...

so many wonderful Halloween memories... Halloween surely is a fun time for kids and also parents. One thing I loved about that night is I would visit neighbors, because they expect people to knock on their door. I would introduce myself and have a wee conversation. Other nights one might seem more suspicious for knocking.

Reb said...

Ah, yes! I remember the days of toting old pillow cases around and not worrying about apples if we got them. Great photos of your kids and they are now very handsome young men.

Dave said...

Wonderful Hilary. Thanks for sharing your early family life and your children. Looks like you all had lots of happy times - Dave

the Bag Lady said...

Awesome! Your kids were so darned cute, and grew into such handsome young men!

Daryl said...

Such cute guys .. then and now

Kat said...

Aww. This post gets me all choked up. How fast time goes.

You are amazing with the makeup! WOW! Those are some excellent costumes. I just love the tree. So creative! :)

Cricket said...

Sweet memories. Perhaps this one helped me to appreciate my own little men a bit more this year.

Hallowe'en seems to end earlier and earlier around here. Last night, most houses were "closed" by 8-ish. #1 and I stayed out until 8:30, looking for "clearance sales." He made out pretty well.

An interesting mix of "ours" and "theirs" here: I'm imagining a classic, like Monster Mash, but a scratchy 45, played on a lo-fi. With a penny on the needle.

Anonymous said...

Hi Hil
The pics bring back many good memories. It's really good to know that both our boys have grown up to be fine young men however different they may be. A great trip down memory lane. I remember when I was young there were about 3 costumes for boys, cowboys, pirates or hobos.

the dad

abb said...

Lovely! Memories - especially the good ones - are the best. Your boys then and now are adorable. (I'm a mom, I can say adorable!)

Fragrant Liar said...

Fun pictures. I especially liked the tiger makeup. How fun to relive those days. If my pictures weren't in storage, I'd have posted some of my girls in costume. I miss those days.

Your sons are quite handsome.

Unknown said...

Wonderful memories, Hilary. The last photo with the guitar reminded me of the band, Nelson (the late Rick Nelson's twin sons). Cool! :)

Nancy said...

Adorable - thank you for sharing. My little girls were often fairies, ballerinas (oldest daughter, and youngest was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz for at least two years. She wore an old blue and white check pinafore that had been mine for the 1950's. This year she was a teddy bear and oldest was guess what - yep, a fairy. New to the scene is Buzz Lightyear, my two year old grandson.

nick said...

Gosh, I missed out on Halloween as a kid - we never had it in Australia. You folks in Canada get the best of both UK and US worlds. Do you drink Ribeena? Used to OD on it as a kid. Just found a local source in the US. I'm in heaven.

Maria said...

I enjoyed this post, it is lovely to learn some more about your life.

My main memories of Halloween are witches hats, bonfires, peanuts and green apples! Yikes, not much of a treat there!

Your POTW post just done inspired much of my current blog post over at Out of Ireland, Into India. Please have a quick look if you have a minute.


Friko said...

Nothing like that ever happened in Germany before I left. i think they now have Halloween as well.

It's wonderful that you have all these photographs of your boys in their fancy dress and face paint; they'll have something to remember when it comes to them continuing the tradition.

Cloudia said...

This post was deeply moving

Aloha from Honolulu
खुश दीपावली

Comfort Spiral


Bimbimbie said...

I love the line: He was less opinionated than Jeffrey and allowed us to dress him as Abu*!*

Hilary said...

• Tammie Lee, I think it's cool that you took the opportunity to meet your neighbours this way. It sounds like you had your own fun on Halloween. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Reb, thanks very much. Yes, our Halloween memories are similar. Life was rather simple then, wasn't it? Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you, Dave. I'm glad you enjoyed my tales and photos. :)

• Baggie, I won't argue with you. I'm biased, you know. ;)

• Thanks, Daryl. I think so too but I'm supposed to. ;)

• Thank you, Kat. Much appreciated. Yes, time does pass rather quickly. Enjoy your wee ones - I know you do. :)

• Cricket, I have no doubt you have much appreciation for your own two guys. The crowds seemed to disappear around 8 ish here too. My neighbours and I stood at the end of our respective driveways chatting and shivering. It was cold out last night. I can hear your version of Monster Mash as clear as a scratchy bell. Thanks always for the visit. :)

• Don, I know you're right about our sons. They're different but both wonderful men (though I still wince at calling Alex a man.. he's still our baby). I'm glad you enjoyed looking over the old photos. There are no fewer than 17 albums to look through anytime you like. :)

• TSannie, you can indeed say "adorable" and I'm glad you did. If I say it, I know it's a biased description. ;) Thank for stopping by. :)

• Fragrant Liar, I know what you mean about "sometimes." Oftentimes for me, though. I hope you'll find your photos and perhaps post them next year. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Michael, do you figure the long, blond hair might have something to do with that? ;)

• Thanks, Nancy. I'll bet the Dorothy costume was wonderful. And no doubt your grandson looked adorable as Buzz. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Nick, I don't think I've ever had Ribeena (had to look it up) but I've certainly had black current juice and it truly is delicious. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Gaelikaa, it seems like you had a real old fashioned Halloween which sounds pretty good to me. Thank you so much linking to my POTW posts over at your blog. It's so much appreciated. :)

• Friko, I seem to be hearing how more and more countries are only recently celebrating Halloween. I guess it's one of the good things which has bled over from North American culture - though some may feel otherwise. My older son just now sent me photos of the extensive Halloween decorating he did outside of his house last night. He certainly is enjoying the occasion. Thanks always for your kind words. :)

• Thank you, Cloudia. Much appreciated. :)

• Bimbimbie, I'm glad you enjoyed that line. He's far more opinionated now. ;)

Sarah Knight said...

That looks like a hoot! Your sons are both very handsome (and now I feel very old)

I was a bunny for my very first Halloween costume. There is a hilarious picture of me looking almost fall down drunk on the porch of the house my parents were renting. Every now and then that photo gets pulled out and we laugh at the weird way I am posing...

I made my own costume for the first time when I was in the third grade. I went as a newspaper, which was inspired by a Cyndi Lauper video.

Now I just dress up in the same swamp witch costume every year and pass out candy. It's basically just a long black robe with rubber lizards sewn to it, and I attached lizards & spiders to barrettes and put them in my hair. It always freaks out a couple toddlers, and someone always asks me if the lizards are real. Kids are funny.
: )

indicaspecies said...

Great costume photos, and a wonderful read on the magic of yesteryears!

imbeingheldhostage said...

What an awesome post Hilary. Great costumes and connections to the present and you completely captured the Halloween of my childhood-- a time I wish my kids could have. Remember pillow cases filled to the brim? And trick or treating late into the night? My kids do a few streets and then say, "Can we go have pizza?" Every year. The oldest one hated walking from door to door and gave up early too. Who are these people???

Anonymous said...

You're so hilarious!

Velcro is a VERY good thing... even when it's not Halloween!


Unknown said...

Thanks for the story and the pictures.


Kelly H-Y said...

What fun ... such wonderful pictures and memories! And, that Carole Ann story ... a riot!!! Wonderful post.

sage said...

Love you memoirs of the past... I too have good halloween memories, but this year missed the holiday as I was out of the country

Kristina P. said...

Wait, your kids are adults!! Holy crap! You look like you're 30!

Unknown said...

Jeffery is the cutest thing! I loved seeing his costumes through the year. So precious. Time flies, doesn't it?

Hilary said...

• Sarah, YOU feel old? I'm their mother! ;) That bunny costume photo sounds hilarious. Maybe one day you can post it. A newspaper sounds like a fun costume - how creative! And I can only imagine the reactions you get from your witch costume. I think I might freak out a tad too. Thanks so much for stopping by to share. :)

• Welcome, Indicaspecies and thanks so much for the kind words. Much appreciated. :)

• IBHH, thank you so kindly. I know what you mean about wishing our kids could know our own childhood experiences though I've got to say that my kids grew up in a pretty similar neighbourhood. I do indeed remember pillow cases.. very heavy pillow cases. I'm not sure how late it was compared to how late we felt it was. Even today, when I blow out the pumpkin and turn off the light, I think it's much later than it truly is - every single year. Those kidlets can't possibly be your own. Just borrow their costumes and do the rounds yourself. ;) Thanks so much for the visit. :)

• Di, thank you and yes, Velcro is our friend. ;)

• Welcome EWian. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Kelly, thank you kindly. I must remember to tell Carol Anne that you think so. I'll be seeing her tomorrow. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Sage, too bad you missed the occasion but if you were traveling, I'm sure you didn't miss it too much. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Kristina, you're my new BFF! ;) Thanks kindly for that.

• LWK, like the wind! I agree - I think both of my boys are cuties. :)

Anonymous said...

Such wonderful costumes you and your children made together! No wonder you appreciate my youngest son's creativity -- you have it in your own genes (no surprise there).
I LOVE the tiger costume with the incredible make-up job.

My husband & I went to one adult party as newlyweds. He was a lion tamer and I was a black cat (the kind that wears fishnet stockings and short black dresses).
And this line cracked me up: "Somewhere I have photos, but I'm sober, and I'm not going to post them."

Midlife Roadtripper said...

Seems those boys had a mom that was handy and creative with the sewing machine. I dabbled in that, but never quite had the patience or creativity.

A lovely post. Thanks for sharing your family with us.

San said...

What great Halloween memories, Hilary. Halloween is less fun without kids in costumes. Where we live, we get no trick-or-treaters. The houses are so far apart, the kids would have to run a marathon to get their bags full.

Susie said...

Holy Cow...I'm the 76th commenter??!!

This is the first year that I haven't created a costume for my kids. I have to admit I was just a little sad about that.

Hilary said...

• Thanks so much for the kind words, KC. They're always so appreciated. I'll bet that your lion tamer and black cat combo was the hit of the party. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

• MJ, I've never successfully created anything on a sewing machine, but scissors and velcro have served me well. Thanks for the visit and kind words. :)

• Good to see you, San. I expect it would be very disappointing to know that kids were not likely coming to ring your doorbell on Halloween. What a shame. Though it sounds like the perfect excuse to host a party instead. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Susie, I understand that feeling of let down. I've been there. It's right up there with not having any first day of school photos to take. Thanks for stopping by. :)