Although Halloween has come and gone, this is a great post, so I chose this one to share from Cyndy my guest today. The blog is all yours dear:
Since we live in a rural area, many families pack up their little monsters and bring them to "town." Many of our homes on Penn Street are no more than inches apart, so for the kids it is an easy way to hit one house after another without expending too much effort, key in getting-candy logistics. We usually have the honor of seeing a couple of hundred ghosts and goblins each year. Our own kids even make their journey down the street really quick so that they can come back to see everyone up close rather than just in passing on the sidewalks.
Since we live in the old Theatre, one of the only properties with a front lawn on this "city" block, we decorate the front yard and porch and sit on the big steps that serve as front row seats to enjoy each of the trick-or-treaters and their families. This year we had tombstones and glowing skeletal hands emerging from the dirt in the planters. We didn't have time to carve pumpkins, so we had a fire in our little patio fireplace, placing it strategically on the side lawn away from flowing vampire capes and princess veils. The kids promenade up the walk like a runway to our stairs to get their treats, and this year we supplied the tricks with a candy dish that had a skeleton hand pop out when you reached into the bowl. It startled so many kids that we had to move the dish down a couple of stairs to prevent anyone from falling when they jumped in surprise!
The piece d'resistance, though, is our popcorn. Every year we schlep the theatre's old popcorn machine out onto the porch and make scores and scores of batches of yummy popcorn. The yellow glow from the lighted top of the machine and the aroma of toasting corn and melting butter fill the air. We originally started this tradition so the parents could have a treat while walking the street, but so many of the kids also choose this salty, crunchy goodie over the candy and will patiently wait until we fill the little bags. The only disappointment is that the bag often fills their little plastic treat buckets! Mom and dad often quickly remedy the problem by offering to "hold" the popcorn, often giving a knowing smile that it won't last the rest of the trek down Penn Street!
With so many people walking around town, everyone often taking a moment to stop and talk, it often makes me think that this must be what it was like when Millheim was in its heyday. No one is rushing by in their minivan to get to soccer practice; they are instead strolling the street and taking their time to meet and greet their neighbors. I didn't see one cell phone last night. Everyone was talking face to face. The kids all take time to really enjoy their hosts. They do not just grab their candy and run, even the teenagers. All would stop and visit for a moment, letting us admire their costumes and to share their excitement. We get to see their families together, sharing a night with a leisurely stroll down an old victorian avenue where the sidewalks lead you from one friendly face to another. For us, it is one night where we can see so many kids of the Valley as they are growing up, knowing that someday they will talk about coming to the Theatre on Halloween just as their parents reminisce about the days that they, too, enjoyed this place when they were little. Howdy Doody costumes may now be replaced with Darth Vader ensembles, but the ritual lives on.
The trick is making the moment last while the treat is a family tradition.
Cyndi can be found @ 110 Penned. (You have to go just for the great blog name!!!)
The original post can be found here