Friday, October 31, 2008

Once Upon a Time Back in the Dark Ages

Remember when you were a kid and went trick or treating? I most definitely do. It wasn't anything like it is now. Halloween seems to have become a holiday just as much for adults now as for kids. Maybe it's all us kids that grew up and didn't want to give up the candy and the goodies - like our waistlines need them now, right?

My mother would never have even considered going to a store and buying a costume. We had to come up with our own ideas made from whatever we happened to have around the house. We would spend days contemplating what we were going to be and days putting it together. The afternoon of Halloween was always celebrated in school with a costume party where we could show off our handywork and then vote on the best costume. You did those kinds of things when you attended a two-room school. Things were different back then. You didn't have to be afraid of hurting someone's feelings because they didn't win the costume contest. It was just friendly competition and good sportsmanship.

Then there were halloween treats made by somebody's mother that we all feasted on with lots of talk of planning our "route" for the night. Had to get a good start on our sugar high, you know. We went home to an early supper and would never have thought of going out trick or treating before dark. After all, that was the fun of it, and you could do those kinds of things back then in a small town without the fear of getting kidnapped or getting a razorblade in your apple. Did we not have as many nut cases back then or did we just not hear about them?

We would meet up with our costumed buddies and hit every house in town along with the businesses and more than likely wouldn't get home until 10 o'clock. It just took that long what with having to stop on the street corners and compare candy bags with other groups of trick or treaters. After all, you had to share the news of what you got from which house and what was the best.

Below is a picture of Ole when he was a kid, along with his sister on the right. I don't know who the little gal is in the middle.

Then we grew up and didn't want to give up the fun of halloween. We didn't go trick or treating anymore, but still attended costume parties. The last one we went to was a year ago down at the Local Watering Hole. Ole and I dressed up as Hagar the Horrible and his wife Lena. Quite appropriate for us ScandiHOOvians, I thought. The costumes were still homemade out of stuff I had laying around the house, other than the helmets, of course. Ole's helmet is quite authentic. He made it out of hammered copper and it has REAL cow horns on it. (He wears it to all the Vikings football games and usually gets on the jumbotron. He's going again this weekend, so watch for him if you watch the game.) His sword was a wooden one and his shield was an old hubcap. I thought we looked pretty authentic - just like the funny papers (snicker).

Now, halloween in Iceland got to be quite unique. The Icelandic folks didn't celebrate the night of ghosts and goblins - just the Americans. The Icelandics are very superstitious people and believe in trolls, nasty ones. After driving on their roads at night you could certainly understand where their imaginations could go wild.

The entire island is made up of volcanic rock and most of the roads are just bladed through the lava fields - sample below. Can you imagine winding your way through the lava fields on a dark night seeing all the shadows that your headlights create and not imagine some nasty troll jumping out in front of you? And that's without any aquavit under your belt (snicker).

The picture below is of the Three Trolls of Vik, just off the southern coast of Iceland.

This one looks like he could be from the Lord of the Rings.

So what will you be doing tonight? Handing out candy to the cute little gremlins that come to your door? Because we haven't had any Trick or Treaters since Lovely Daughter was a little girl, we'll have to find something else to do. There's a big costume party at the Local Watering Hole, but we're not going there. I have found my life to be so much more peaceful since I avoid being around Dick & Jane and Ted & Alice. No more gossip mongering, no more snide, hurtful remarks, no more attitude.

Oh yes, for those of you who know Jane from my past writing, Jane has decided to run for an open position on city council. The city fathers are in an uproar because they don't want her on the council. After election day I'll tell you all about it. Then Jane will find out just how many friends she has (which is a big fat goose egg!)

Happy Halloween!!

Love, Lena


harrietv said...

We really resent strangers who visit our neighborhood by car, don't even bother to put on costumes, and basically take away the fun from the little kids.

~ Sil in Corea said...

Koreans have leaped straight from no Halloween to Halloween parties. I met some high school students last night, on their way to a party dressed as "lions and tigers and bears. Oh, My!" There was a leopard in the crowd, too. They had made their costumes out of hooded flannel pajamas. :-)

Hugs from west of the Pacific,
~ Sil