I got two messages about Halloween this morning and so I feel compelled to write about our Halloween when our four children were growing up. One family asked if they could call at dinner time so I could laugh like a witch for their two grown boys. I assured them that I need more developed abdominal muscles in order to be effective. When we moved from Diablo to Laguna Beach our good friends called on Halloween morning and told us they were coming South that afternoon, for they didn't want their four children going through a Halloween without hearing my witches laugh. (I had abdominal muscles in those days) I remember that as one of the happiest weekends in Laguna Beach.
When the children were older than toddlers I used to dress all in black, and go out and wait for their friends to arrive. I stood under our bridge and when they were directly above me, I would give forth with a thunderous laugh. Think of now being an almost ninety year old woman and hearing that that laugh made me memorable. It is wonderful. But I would rather be remembered for ending hunger in the world or something meaningful.
One year when Anna was in high school I heard two boys whose voices I recognized, coming down the street after having been at the Greer's house, saying, Let's go to Anna's house. It's right here over the bridge. When they were directly above me, I let forth with one of my best ones. They turned around and ran as fast as their little feet would carry them. Anna was told next day in school how scared they had been.
When I grew up in Sweden we had no similar holiday. We did have a spring festival called Valborg's masso afton. It was almost the opposite kind of festival. It happened on the evening before the First of May. People got dressed up but not with anything scary. We had picked little twigs of our birch trees and even though the trees had not yet turned green, our twigs had because of the warmth in the house.
There is a description of Valborg's Masso Afton in a previous blog. If you don't feel like looking it up, I will go into further details about it next time I write.