It’s Halloween. And true to my nature I stayed up late last night gluing Edie’s gumball machine costume together and cursing myself for waiting until the last minute, because, EEEK! I ran out of little pom-poms and I live a good hour and a half from the nearest 24 hour Walmart.
Why couldn’t I just order her a costume from Amazon.com for crying out loud?
Why? Because it looked like an adorable and easy idea a month ago when I found it.
And I think I like to make stuff. Even if I procrastinate the shit out of the process.
Halloween has been one of my favorite holidays because of those two things, because I rarely make plan until the last minute and apparently I like the thrill of creativity under pressure.
Some of my best work has come a good hour or two before our last minute plan to attend a Halloween party.
Bacon and Eggs/Before and After
But it’s been a few years since we’ve hit up a bender of a Halloween party. Last year I could have gone as a blimp and I wouldn’t have needed a costume.
This year I spent the weekend obsessing over staining the house. And in case you’re wondering, it didn’t go well. I mean, #1: Who in their right minds designs a house that needs to be re-stained every few years? And #2: Who makes that house so tall even their tallest ladder can’t reach the top?
It’s a Halloween worthy nightmare that will last our entire lives. (Or at least until we make enough money to buy ourselves out of DIYing…)
Anyway, I’ve never spent a Halloween with our baby, so I’m planning on doing what we can do for the holiday with an almost-one-year-old. I’ll find mom’s witch hat and we’ll head to town this afternoon to hang in her store and hand out candy. Then I’ll make the rounds, say hi to some neighbors, show her off and likely, spend most of my time putting the bubble gum hat back on her head.
Don’t worry, they’ll be pictures tomorrow, you know you can count on it:)
Oh, and if you don’t yet, follow me on Instagram for photos on life out here.
And because this baby and my Halloween crafting project makes me nostalgic, here’s this week’s column on the memories I have of trick-or-treating along the country roads.
Coming Home: Princess of the frozen tundra passes the Halloween torch
by Jessie Veeder
It was a long time ago in a faraway, mysterious frozen tundra called North Dakota. I was beautiful. My crown was made of glittery pipe cleaner, my dress a hand-me-down from my fair mother, shoulder pads for dramatic effect, taken in at the waist with 37 safety pins, and it swept (drug) on the ground ever-so elegantly, collecting fallen leaves, dirty snow and candy wrappers the way every magnificent princess ballgown should.
I addressed my kingdom in a short, 1990s camcorder clip featuring a stunning and dramatic speech littered with impediments because I was a princess who couldn’t quite say my “R’s” correctly. And before I headed out the door to survey my territory, I pulled on my baby blue, puffy winter coat and well-worn snow boots, even though I fully intended on a mink shawl and glass slippers, because it was Halloween in North Dakota, and when it comes to parents, there are some arguments even a princess can’t win.
Yes, I was a princess once.
And then I was a clown in a hand-me-down, red and white, homemade zip-up suit and hat, complete with rosy cheeks.
And once I was Pippi Longstocking, and I made my braids stick straight out and wore my dad’s lace-up work boots. And long ago, I was a ghost with spiders in my hair, then an old woman in a lace dress taken from my great-grandmother,
and an alien with neon-green hair and a tinsel dress that my mom wore in a 1970s production of “The Wizard of Oz” in which she played the Tin Man.
Yes, ’tis the season for goblins and mermaids and 7,000 Ninja Turtles and “Frozen” characters to start gearing up for an evening of a make-believe parade down city sidewalks and doing the things that children do on a holiday that was invented to keep us young and full of imagination.
But my Halloween memories don’t include those sidewalks, because we didn’t have many on the miles of gravel roads connecting us to our “next-door neighbors.” Our trick-or-treating rituals looked more like dressing up in homemade costumes my best friend and I had been planning and perfecting for weeks, standing in front of dad’s deer horns hanging on the wall to pose for a photo next to my little sister who was dressed as a pumpkin and then piling into the minivan with the neighbor girls while our dads drove us through the 10-mile loop so we could unload and load up again at all seven houses.
One year my best friend went as a picnic table, to-scale and complete with at least two table settings, so you can about imagine how that car ride went.
But we didn’t care; you could have piled six more kids in that minivan, and we would have never wished for a sidewalk or streetlights. We were convinced us country kids had the best Halloweens. Because at that time, we were some of the few, we were special, and our neighbors were expecting us. So at each of those seven or so houses, we loaded up on handfuls of candy, treat bags complete with pencils or pinwheels, full-sized candy bars, bags of popcorn and a chance to take our time, show off some tricks and model our costumes, strutting and showing off what we worked so hard to put together.
And at the end of it all, we all we unloaded at the final house, dragging pieces of our costumes behind us, disheveled and tired and ready to dump our pillowcases full of treats on the carpet to sort through while our parents visited in the kitchen.
Today, in my kitchen, the supplies for Edie’s Halloween costume sit in a box on my countertop, and I just realized the torch has been officially passed as I turn from back-seat princess to minivan driver. But my friend up the road has four kids, so if we want to ride together like we did in the old days, we might need to see where we can get a small bus … especially if anyone plans on going as a picnic table this year.