Friday, October 31, 2008

autumn alphabet: h is for halloween

I’ve always loved this time of year. I have great memories of Halloweens as a kid. Trick-or-treating was always a dad/daughter event that had its own set of special traditions. Each year, we’d start with a drive to my grandpa’s house, a few towns over. After visiting him and a few of his neighbors, we’d drive back to our area and walk block upon block until our plastic pumpkins were filled to the brim and our little feet could handle no more. Often, Dad would dress up too, usually as a cowboy (complete with a painted-on beard) or a hobo-ish clown.

The donning of costumes was the part of Halloween that I always liked the most. It wasn’t the creepy or scary stuff that I ever enjoyed, but rather the once-a-year chance to be something completely different from the regular me. It was as if I was given permission to transform myself, even if only for one evening every October. There was an allure to that, especially as the shy, quiet kid who never wanted to stand out or have attention drawn to her. I could be a hippie or a gypsy or a blonde Punky Brewster, and it was a way to release little eccentric parts of my personality without embarrassing myself or feeling foolish. Even then, Halloween had a creative sense of freedom to it. Now, as an adult, I still look at this time of year with a similar perspective. To me, Halloween is a time of family, a time of fun, and a time of ultimate creative transformations.

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