Halloween is here. We’re facing our first major seasonal observance (I am of the generation taught not to refer to Halloween as a “holiday”) without Aly, who is away at college. We’re facing a good deal of uncertainty about what will happen this year on October 31st.
Living out in the woods makes Halloween, with its emphasis on door-to-door trick or treating, a bit awkward at the best of times. We have one neighbor girl who trick or treated here in the past, though usually not on Halloween night (she and her family are visiting outside. She trick or treated at the end of September this year). Aly obviously knew that she had to be in town to trick or treat, which she eagerly did through her senior year. Now we hear she’s got her costume all ready for the Halloween events at her college.
But where are we this year? What will we do?
I decorated the cabin, as I usually do, just after Alaska Day. We’ve been enjoying seasonal snacks. Saint-Saëns’s Danse Macabre (Op. 40) is getting plenty of air time on the stereo (and Warren Zevon’s Werewolves Of London!). I’m reading or listening to seasonally spooky stories, and offering a few of my own. We’re in the swing of the celebration, but it’s ringing a little hollow without Aly here to participate.
We’ve come up with a few ideas for spending the evening in town, but we may just spend it here, by the fire, as a frontier family might. The pumpkins we bought in town for food (49¢/lb for a favorite vegetable is a bargain!) are showing a bit of personality—maybe I’ll carve one of them on the way to the oven?
A quiet Halloween at home is probably our best choice, as the very next day, our small family will become fragmented even further.