Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Halloween housewife

I was feeling very much like mid-twentieth century wife after three hours of standing in the kitchen yesterday getting ready for the evening's festivities. For the past few years, I have been baking my can't-get-the-crust-quite-right apple pie on Halloween -- only this year I may have to change the name to crust-is-perfect apple pie -- plus, I was making quesadillas for the kids and a few friends. All of this got me thinking about my grandmother and mother, who cooked for a lot of people -- with five and six kids respectively -- three times a day, a full-time job to be sure. Maybe it's my floor, or my shoes, or my lack of shoes, but my feet get sore when I'm on them moving about only in a small kitchen for an afternoon.

While I was doing that moving about, I was thinking that Gene could take the kids tick-or-treating with our friend Colleen and I could get things halfway neatened up. Yes, that sounded like a good idea. But wait, I then thought, shouldn't I want to run about the neighborhood with my excited adorables, my feet notwithstanding, and share in their thrill? I mean, isn't that what most moms want to do? So I accessed my database of childhood Halloweens, but could not recall either of my parents taking me trick-or-treating. With four older siblings and a mom who's been cooking for eight all day, it was probably a nice evening respite for the folks to wait for us at home.

And that's what I realized I was looking forward to -- looking at the excited faces of my kids upon their return home while they foraged for favorites in their Halloween loot, warming in their glow, and maybe lighting up a cigar and having a smoke. Wait. What? No, no, no! I don't smoke cigars -- that's what my dad does or used to do. So I picked up the phone and hit talk on the first name that came up Catmull, but reached my sister on business in swank San Francisco, chatted for a while and sighed over her glamorous life, hung up, and then after almost calling my brother, finally reached my folks.

I told Dad a bit about what was going and he told me a bit about what was going on, and Mom, recited her favorite poem to me, which brings her a lot of happiness. Dad and I talked some of Walmart's low Thanksgiving meal dinner prices and promised to see each other then.

Gene then came home to hand out candy so that I could walk with our black cat and cowboy. I tried to teach the cowboy how to say trick-or-treat, and he can say it, but whenever he got close to a house -- and he was always last behind the bigger kids -- he'd start shouting, "I want candy! I want candy!" And he'd shout that until, last in line, he was given some candy. I tried to get him to say thank you, but all he would shout was, "I got candy! I got candy!"

They had a good time, and so did I. This morning it is not yet 10:00, and I have already had a slice of apple pie.


Anonymous kathy said...

lovely post. Congratulations on the crust. Grandma taught me how to make pie crust when I was 9 or 10, very lucky for me, so I am a great believer in the homemade crust.

We had a couple of very Brendan-like trick-or-treaters that were among our favorites--you could hear their parents coaching them all the way to the door, "say 'trick or treat'! say 'trick or treat'!" And they would get to the door, become transfixed by the basket of candy, and shout "I TWICKOTWEATING I GET CANDY! CANDY!"

11:10 AM  
Blogger Janet said...

This post warms my heart. Can't wait to see you and Gene and the kids next week.

5:09 PM  

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