For years I kept journals -- in composition, spiral bound, and French graph paper books. This blog is an attempt to get back to writing and documenting the world around me using photos, newspaper headlines, and other articles.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is not my favorite holiday.  But this year it seemed a little less intense.  In the past, Selim has started asking about costumes around the time we buy back to school supplies.  This year, he wondered if we should shop a week before.  I had heard that our new neighborhood was a destination trick or treat mecca, so I had bought candy a bag or so at a time starting at the beginning of the month.

Selim arranged to go with his two of his new school friends and a parent.  That left Nedim free to be elsewhere and I stayed home with the candy.  I sat in a chair in the garage and put the pumpkin on a stool in front of the door.  I didn't want kids going around to the side of the house.  We still have on the screen door and that opens out.  I envisioned kids falling off the front steps and tripping over costumes.  So I stayed in the garage and kept the center door open.

Tub of candy, ready to go.

I watched packs of kids race up the street towards the "Canney Farms" development.  It was like do not pass go, do not collect candy.  They didn't stop at the houses leading up to the development -- they streamed passed.  But after a half hour or so, costumed traffic began coming the other direction and I had visitors.  Parents stayed at the top of the driveway and the kids came down.  From the top, I heard helpful coaching, "Say trick or treat!"  "Did you say thank you?" "Be careful!" "Hold out your pumpkin!"

Around the half way point, I had my first kids who didn't want candy.

"Do you have anything to drink?"
"No, I don't."
"No bottled water or anything for us?"
"No, sorry.  Candy is all I've got."
"But we're so thirsty! I'm going to have to walk on, absolutely parched!"

I thought that was odd.  But later on, another group asked for something to drink too.  I'm thinking this is the strangest neighborhood.  At the end, the mystery was solved.  I handed out candy to one of the last groups.

"Thank you.  Where is the hot chocolate?"
"You don't have anything hot to drink...or bottled water like last year?"
"No.  We just moved in. Did the lady last year have that?"
"Oh yeah.  She had hot chocolate, water, tons of things to drink. It was great."
"May be next year I'll have something, now that I know this is the beverage house."

Selim came back with a partially filled pillowcase -- plenty of candy, but less than some kids I had seen.  As is the tradition, first thing to do is a quick sort.

And apparently when you are older, you take a selfie on top of your candy.

I had the desire to take pictures of the pumpkin figures set up all around Portsmouth.  They put them up every year, so this isn't new.  Today, Selim and I bundled up for a self-guided walking tour of the pumpkins.  We went into town from not the usual direction and we passed the site of the first African American burial ground.  I hadn't seen the Memorial Park before.  I found it very moving.

After that, we started on the pumpkin hunt.  Some wore grey tops.

We saw one in red.

One slightly disheveled white blouse by the parking garage.

But mostly, they wore black.

Mr. Grumpy pants.

Love the lace and pearls

We took pictures of carved pumpkins.  It wasn't until I was looking at these on my computer, when I realized that one was a PG-13 rated carved pole dancer.  What is that about?  Why?

On the way home, we took a quick detour through Pease so that we could capture the pumpkin figures on base.

We had a great day that we topped off by making cookies with left over candy.  We made chocolate chip batter and added chopped Twix, Kit-Kat, Nestle's Crunch,  Yum!

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