Pipi’s Pasture: Halloween years at Severance

Diane Prather
Pipi's Pasture

When our sons Jody and Jamie were in elementary school, we lived in Severance, located between Greeley and Fort Collins. Back then Halloween marked the beginning of the holiday season and plenty of excitement for the boys.

In late September, when the stores started putting out their displays of Halloween merchandise, Jody and Jamie looked forward to our weekly shopping trips. They pored over the Halloween items, especially the masks and other Halloween apparel.

The boys usually had a pretty good idea of what they “wanted to be” for Halloween. Most often their costumes ended up being a combination of purchased stuff, usually masks and what we had at home. I can remember them dressing up as monsters (a favorite), ghosts, pirates, cowboys and some super hero characters that were popular during those years. Whatever the choice, the deciding was the most fun.

Also fun were the pumpkins that we turned into jack-o’-lanterns. We grew our own pumpkins in our large garden. In fact, at least one year we harvested some great big pumpkins. However, we often visited a pumpkin patch in a field near Windsor.

There’s nothing like walking through a pumpkin patch on a sunny autumn day to select that perfect pumpkin. Then we all looked forward to the time our family set aside to carve the pumpkins that would greet visitors from our front steps. There’s certainly nothing more festive-looking than candle-lit jack-o’-lanterns.

On a day closest to Halloween, Jody and Jamie enjoyed the Halloween parties at their Windsor schools. As I remember, parents were often invited to a parade of costumes inside the school, and the day ended with classroom parties, complete with games, decorated cupcakes or cookies, and punch.

The most looked-forward-to Halloween activity for the boys was, of course, going house to house for treats. Undoubtedly, there were probably years when it snowed before Halloween, but I don’t remember any snow on the ground during those “trick or treat” nights when we lived at Severance.

What I do remember were clear, moonlit nights when our footsteps made the fallen leaves crackle under our feet as the boys and I walked around. I stood back as Jody and Jamie went up to each door.

I always enjoyed those Halloween nights because the porch lights lit up the neighborhoods, making it seem magical and friendly. First, the boys visited the neighbors in Severance, many of them senior citizens who reminded the boys ahead of time to stop by. They had planned ahead by making candy apples and cookies for treats. After Severance, I drove the boys to Windsor where there were lots of houses for trick or treating.

Later, back at home, the boys dumped the treats out of their bags. What fun to sort through everything. Believe it not, they didn’t eat all of the candy right away, either. They pretty much saved most of the candy for several days to come.

Years have passed. We moved back to Moffat County, and many Halloween memories were made here. It doesn’t seem possible that Jody and Jamie now celebrate Halloween with their grandchildren.

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