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Thar She Blows

Halloween is an interesting experience with my child. As one of my co-workers put it at lunch on Monday, “He’s very unique, isn’t he.” It was not really a question.

Amongst his unique qualities is an aversion to hats. Belts. Vests. Jewelry of any kind.  Makeup. Therefore, I was less than enthusiastic when he declared he wanted to be a pirate for Halloween. How does one turn a small boy into Jack Sparrow utilizing none of the above?

We ended up with black corduroy pants, a black turtle neck and a large white t-shirt over top and tied one of his dad’s silk neckerchiefs around his waist for a sash. Then we manufactured a pirate’s tri-corner hat from a black dollar store cowboy hat, painted a skull and crossbones on each side and stood him in front of the mirror. He was impressed enough with the effect to decide maybe, just this once, he could wear a hat.

But don’t even think about the eye patch.

Trick or treating is also a unique event in our neighborhood. For one thing, the average high here on Halloween is forty degrees. The average wind speed is around forty miles an hour. Okay, maybe only ten officially, but any kid who ever dressed up in spandex to go out begging for candy in this place will tell you the average wind chill is well below the freezing point of fingers and toes. By age ten, I  chose all my Halloween costumes based on their ability to incorporate a down-filled lining.

Luckily, there’s plenty of time to warm up in the car between doorbells, because out here in the community we call Del Bonita the average distance between houses is five miles by road. Due to time and distance constraints, we put my mother to work on Halloween morning, calling around to see who was planning to be home for trick or treaters. And since my cousins live down near the bus stop–a dozen miles from our house–the kid went straight from the bus to trick or treating without coming home.

For the last two years we’ve gone to community Halloween parties instead of trick or treating, so Logan is sort of new at the door to door thing. At the first house, he wasn’t sure he wanted any part of it. His dad had to walk up with him and do the knocking. He caught on quickly. By house number three, he ordered his dad to stay in the pickup, he wanted to do it himself.

He stepped out of the pickup and his hat immediately blew off. He chased it down the driveway, pinned it to his head with one hand, clutched his pirate sword and his goody bag in the other, and climbed the steps to Chad’s mobile home, where he faced a real dilemma.

Both hands were occupied.

He let go of the hat. Before he could knock, it blew off and over the edge of the steps. He chased it down, slapped it back on his head, and marched up the steps again. Where he once again had to let go of the hat. And it blew off. And he had to chase it across the lawn. And he clamped it on his head and did it all over again. And again.

By the fifth try, his dad was laughing so hard he could barely crawl out of the pickup and to the house to knock on the door before the poor kid keeled over from hypothermia. Or exhaustion.

The next house, though, was my husband’s absolute favorite. My cousin had promised she’d be home, but then the tractor broke down and she had to make a run to town for parts, so she left a note on the door:

Happy Halloween. Had to go to Great Falls. Treats are on the kitchen counter. Help yourself to a beer. 

That’s trick or treating Del Bonita style.


8 Responses

  1. Although I’m a total cold-weather wimp, I would brave it to go trick-or-treating for beers.

  2. Now that’s some serious parental dedication! And kid perseverance. So cute. Great post, Kari, I could picture the scene perfectly.

    Absolutely love the last bit. You’d have adults shoving the kids out of the way if T-or-T routinely included “treats” for the grown ups. =)

  3. Your kid cracks me up! What a great story, though I think if T-or-T took that much effort for us, we’d never bother. LOL I hope he got a worthy haul. 🙂

  4. HAHAHAHHAAAHA Laughing over here at the picture of kiddo chasing his hat over and over and over. You “draw” such a great picture.

    and “Help yourself to a beer”…yep, my kind of house to trick or treat.

    • Nice thing about trick or treating out here, since only three or four kids ever show up and each kid only hits four or five houses, everybody loads you up at each stop. Well, except for cousin Charlotta who was shipping calves that day and forgot it was Halloween. She gave him a Pepsi. He thought that was pretty cool, too.

  5. haha! awesome trickortreating! Son was a pirate this year,but he was ALL about the hat, the eyepatch and the whole 9yards. was cool for us, but no wind,thank goodness!

    Son got tired of the walking fast, but at each new street we’d say, do you want to wait in the car or go get candy with your cousins? he was out of the car like flash each time.

  6. Oh, poor little pirate! He certainly had to work for the candy! There are a few neighbors around here that get together to sit around a bonfire and drink while they direct kids to four or five bowls of candy on a table. Kinda anti-climatic for the kids (no doorbell, no walking from house to house) but I see the draw for the adults. ; )

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