Growing up in Michigan, this time of the year was always very picturesque...colors of gold, orange, red, and brown covered trees and grounds. Blustery winds, chilling frosts, crisp apples being harvested, donuts & cider at the Franklin Cider Mill and pumpkin patches everywhere.
As a child, my father loved Halloween and told us stories about himself and his friends going out on Devil's Night, pulling pranks.....oh, the stories he did tell! And being very artistic, he always created the best pumpkins for our house. We didn't "Trick or Treat" in those days, we went "begging". We would call out "Help the Poor"! It's so funny how the times have changed. We still beg for candy, but we call it Trick-or-Treating.
The tradition of loving this holiday started with my grandmother, Lillian Gertrude Bouchie-Morneau, who was born on Halloween, October 31, 1898. She loved black cats. It was in her blood! She would also read tea leaves in your teacup and would tell your fortune. We loved having tea with her and couldn't wait to sit around the table, reviewing our cups with their patterns of tea leaves, imagining what they resembled...then waiting to hear our fortune.
This holiday, fun filled with costumes and treats and spooky, scary ghosts and goblins, was easily passed down to my own children, John, Deborah and Robert (all three still kids at heart!). We reminisce every year about the time we did this or that...the year the school buses would stop in front of our house so all the children could see our fantastic decorations...and how much fun we all had sharing it together.
With a pot of homemade chili brewing on the stove to make our holiday complete, it was and is one of our biggest traditions. It just wouldn't be Halloween without it. To this day, it's what we have for our dinner in MD, SC and CA...who would want to break with tradition? We call each other on Halloween night to talk about "the chili" !
It all started because it was cold in Michigan, the chili was warming; and as the children dressed for the evenings festivities, there was no time to sit down and eat before running out the door at dusk to beg for candy. So a bowl of chili could be eaten in scattered bites while donning costumes replete with makeup for the night of frolicking on the streets with all the other children.
Grandchildren, Chris, Mimi and Brad (son John & Katie's children), have all grown up and I miss all the fun we had together when they were little but we have great memories! And this year, Nana gets to celebrate with yet another generation of little ones, grandchildren Nick 6 and Girlie 1 1/2 (daughter Deb & Steve's children), in South Carolina. We are already planning by phone how much fun we're going to have and the fun things we're going to make...decorations, yummy cookies and costumes.
You just have to love this holiday...
Family Fun at its best!
Family Fun at its best!
(Stay tuned for pictures of Halloween past and present!)
Just to get you warmed up, these pictures are of my son and daughter-in-law last year in MD...I told you we go all out for this holiday!