From Pipi’s Pasture: Memories from Halloweens past
This year, with the pandemic and the recent snow and cold, I’ve been thinking about what it means for area kids and Halloween. Will it be anything near “normal” for the kids? It’s also has me reminiscing about Halloweens past, when my siblings and I were children growing up on the Morapos Ranch.
During those early days, we didn’t go to Craig very often—maybe once a week if even that– so our parents had to plan in advance for the candy and whatever else was needed for Halloween. After all, we never knew if a snow (such as this year) might put a damper on traveling to Craig. We did not go to Craig to attend any Halloween activities, either, even if the merchants gave out candy treats. Our Halloween was limited to the ranching communities on Morapos Creek and across the hill to those ranches along Deer Creek.
We always had a party at our country school, just down the road from our house. I don’t remember much about the parties, except that we played games – perhaps bobbed for apples—and were treated to punch and cupcakes. We wore costumes to school that day, too.
Trick-or-treat took place the night before Halloween. The custom was that children asked for treats the night before, and if they didn’t get any, tricks followed the next night. We never did any tricking, but that was the custom.
Grandpa and Grandma Osborn, my dad’s parents, lived on a ranch at Deer Creek. Two uncles had ranches on Deer Creek, too. We went to those houses plus those on Morapos. Dad always drove us around, and Mom stayed home to hand out treats. So early that evening before Halloween we put on our costumes which were usually homemade, although we sometimes wore masks that had been purchased. We found some bags to hold the candy and loaded up in the car.
The first stop was Grandpa and Grandma’s house. We tried to get there before dark so that our grandparents could go to bed. We booed and made lots of noises before entering the house—but not loud enough to scare Grandma. She made over our costumes, and Dad visited a little with his parents. Then Grandma handed out the treats. If she had been able to get supplies from the Hamilton Store or from Craig, Grandma had made candied apples and cookies and then added purchased candy to the treats.
After our grandparents’ house, we stopped at our uncles’ homes and then went back to Morapos. As with all trick-or-treating, we had lots of goodies in our bags, much of it homemade. Later, at home, we usually had a Halloween supper, sometimes tuna sandwiches or another “not usual” menu.
Sometimes, as with this year, it snowed before Halloween. Other years, it was dry and the fallen leaves crunched under our feet as we walked up to the neighborhood houses. A clear sky with a big full moon and the crunching sounds of those leaves is what I remember most about Halloweens past.
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