Happy Halloween!
Saturday October 31st 2009, 11:56 am
Filed under: Friends,Life

LauraN has a story to tell on her neighbor; don’t miss it. And I bet I can guess who the benchpressing instigator was.

And now I’m going to tell you a story on my neighbor.

First, though, a memory.  Our last Halloween in New Hampshire, our toddlers were terrified every time I opened the door: no explanation of the concept of costumes made the slightest difference, and they could not understand how their own mother could continue to expose them to those, those, *things* out there.

The next year, in California, when the older two were now three and five, the five-year-old looked excitedly out the window and told her little brother gleefully, “Here come trick-or-treaters! Let’s be scared!”

Just a few years after that, there was a Halloween where our children all had the flu and, after all their anticipation of dressing up and playacting and getting candy, had to stay home.

We had a neighbor we didn’t see much, not a terribly outgoing sort, whose own kids were newly grown and gone.  We didn’t know she had planned a special surprise just for our kids.

But they never came to ring her bell.  Huh. Well, this wouldn’t do.

And so she finally rang ours instead: she had gone out and bought little decorated cardboard houses filled with the good stuff, one for each of our little ones, Halloweeny and celebratory to the max.

She had no idea they were sick. She had no idea how bummed they were that they had to be on that day of all days.  She had never thought to buy such a thing before, and come to think of it, she only did it that one year.

But our quiet neighbor, making an impulsive decision when she saw something cute in the store, decided it would be fun to be generous, and by so doing totally made their day when they most needed it.

And none of us old enough then to remember has ever forgotten that. Halloween always makes me think of her and those little boxes.

10 Comments so far
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Actually, I wasn’t the instigator. I live a couple of steets over (and the Lane is a long, winding one through the woods) so I wasn’t the one who saw what happened. But this neighborhood (and the whole world, actually) is full of people like that. Kind People of the World, Arise (and get busy.)

Comment by LauraN 10.31.09 @ 12:01 pm

how sweet of your neighbour. I can understand why none of you have ever forgotten.

Comment by Vicki 10.31.09 @ 2:41 pm

One Halloween when I was about 7, I was too sick to go trick or treating. My younger sister went without me. So unfair!

Just now I’m preparing to be the neighborhood witch, handing out light sticks. I’m a bit jittery as I always am beforehand. The weatherman says it’s going to rain before and after our outdoor party… but not during it. Could that really be? A witch’s hut made from a fridge box wouldn’t fare well in the rain.

Comment by RobinM 10.31.09 @ 3:09 pm

It’s those moments that we always remember. People who love us deeply through their actions, even though they (and we) don’t even really know how deeply in need of that love we are. I believe both families were richly blessed by your neighbor’s kindness. 😉

Comment by Pam 10.31.09 @ 4:23 pm

What a wonderful story! We gave out 84 bags of Goldfish crackers tonight. Many of the little ones said things like “My Favorite!”, or “Look, I got GOLDFISH!” Encouraging, eh?

The one who didn’t come to the door this year was our next door neighbor. LSU has a home game tonight, and his dad is a big fan…I suspect that’s why he didn’t come. He should be about a kindergartner this year, and his dad has always accompanied him. Anyhoo, I particularly wanted him to see how Archie has grown. When Archie was just a kitten living in our shrubbery (after someone dumped him in the neighborhood) our neighbor boy loved to play with the kitten after the schoolbus brought the boy home each day.

Comment by Barbara-Kay 10.31.09 @ 6:09 pm

My favorite Hallowe’en story: This particular year my nephew Jack was in Junior High, and had not yet grown tall. And he had a beautiful complexion. We lived on the first floor of a two story flat in San Francisco, and the owner, an old bat of a woman, lived above us.

Jack wanted to dress up in, um, something, but did not have a costume, so his mother dressed him up in one of her blouses and skirt, made up his face with makeup, and he was gorgeous!

The first thing he wanted to do was trick-or-treat our landlady, so up the steps he went, and rang the bell. “trick-or-treat” he said. “but little girl,” she said, “you’re not in costume.”

Comment by Don Meyer 10.31.09 @ 6:45 pm

No coincidences. 😉 I remember the Halloween I was literally flat on my back, with my first back problem. No one brought me special treats, and it would have made all the difference! (Wait… My father did bring the jack-o-lantern up to my room… that’s something…)

Comment by Channon 11.01.09 @ 6:26 am

Thanks for all that Halloween cheer. Love the pumpkin! And now to face the dark days of winter as the Celtic New Year begins. Sigh.

Comment by LynnM 11.01.09 @ 12:23 pm

Yep. I am the neighborhood hermit.
But I’m also the same grumpy lady who, when getting my mail saw three-year-old a few houses down and over headed for the street. I hobbled out onto my ramp and barked (with my military command voice) for him to get back in the yard. His grandmother (temporarily distracted by a dog getting loose) saw him and made sure he got back to the house.
We never give out candy on Halloween, it’s just to hard to get up and answer the door all night.
But being grumpy doesn’t mean we don’t care.
Hermits Unite! Oh, wait. If we unite, we won’t be hermits any more.

Comment by Diana Troldahl 11.01.09 @ 2:00 pm

lovely story. We had a wonderful Halloween here – I hope to get the pictures up soon.

Comment by Sandra 11.01.09 @ 8:14 pm

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