Random Thoughts

Halloween in the country

... City folks miss a lot

by Bob Ross

On Halloween last year I visited my son who lives some 20 miles north of us. Primary reason for going was to make the "Trick-or-treat" rounds with my two grandchildren. Secondly, the 30th is my daughter-in-law's birthday and my son's is the 31st.

Although Halloween was officially on Sunday Oct. 31, the city where he lives proclaimed that it would be celebrated on Saturday Oct. 30. This was to allow the children to be rested for school by Monday. In Melrose, it was celebrated Sunday.

We city folks really have it made. The houses are close together; in no time you have a bag of goodies and can go home and enjoy what you were given.

It was different when we started the rounds with the kids. Houses are not very close together, and you spend lots of time walking from house to house. When you get to the house, you again have a driveway that seems to be longer than the city blocks where I live. In no time, we adults were dragging.. the kids still eager, running ahead of us to the next house.

When we started out my son gave me a flashlight and had one himself. Each kid had, hanging around his neck, one of those tubes that you bend and it emits light. It was still daylight when we started, but soon it was dark. Not dark like in the city, really dark. You could not see the street, it was so dark. The flashlights really came in handy.

It had been years since I had been in an area where street lights were not present and it was amazing to see all the stars, no city lights illuminating the sky. Being city slickers, we take so much for granted, and at the same time, miss so much of the world around us.

In about two hours, we visited between 20 and 30 houses. Had we been where I live, we could have done this in less than 30 minutes. Why? There are about 30 houses on the street where I live.

I was surprised that we did not see very many kids either. Where I live, they come in bunches, six or eight at a time. I counted 14 at one time. These were not neighborhood kids, they were outsiders. A car stops at the corner, the kids get out and the car moves to the end of the street and waits for them to make the houses. Some are not "kids" either. They are teenagers.

And no, I said nothing. Afraid of what might happen to my house or car if I did. To be safe it is best not to say anything.

One thing for sure, it was nice to be with my grandchildren, and, as I said, living in the city, we miss so much of the world around us.

October 6, 2000


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