Last night, we took Ruby trick or treating. Since she’s 12 now, I’m not sure how many more times we will do this. We closed up the house and left Dakota in the yard for good measure. Our home sits on a short road off a main thoroughfare. It’s hard to get to, and not much payoff for the detour, as only 3 houses sit on it.
Two thirds of a moon shone down. A chill wind shoved a scrim of scraggly clouds across the sky. Wind picked up fallen leaves and swirled them around. Trees shook and cast moving shadows on the ground.
Ruby dressed as a pumpkin. She painted her face orange and put glittery orange goo on her eyelids. She had no orange shirt so substituted a green one instead. She donned orange tights and a tutu with her brown boots. I don’t know if anyone asked her what she was. I thought she sort of resembled a festive oompa loompa. But don’t tell her that.
We drove down the hill to our old neighborhood behind the library. We scoped out the old haunts, hoping to spot friends. Nope. We parked and started scavenging, by knocking politely. We managed to hit most of the houses in the block, though several had their lights off. The wind made me pull my hat down and snuggle into my fleece coat. It’s still fall, despite the day’s high in the low 60s.
We walked around the creek loop. We passed a house with porch lights on, but nobody inside. A wave of marijuana smoke crested over us. We kept moving, figuring they’d already eaten what candy they had anyway.
We left our old house for last. We stepped up the concrete walk to the front door. As we waited for the door to open, I spotted a black cat lurking in the terraced garden. I had a deja-vu moment. Was that Chloe? A sweet flood of memories came back.
A young clean-shaven man answered the door with a large metal bowl filled with candy. Behind him, a chubby baby waited in a high chair. We told him we used to own the house.
“Oh, we love it,” he said with a smile.
Jonathon mentioned he liked the window boxes installed on the second floor. He also noticed the new porch lights. They looked great. We chatted for a moment, then left. Don’t want to be a stalker family or anything.
Ruby felt she had enough candy. For Ruby, it’s always been about dreaming up a costume – nothing scary – and putting it together. The candy is a nice bonus. We returned home and watched “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” while sampling candy.
It felt good to know our old house had a young family in it. A new generation gets to enjoy it, create memories and live their own stories. We stood at the juncture of two rivers – the past and the future – last night. Life goes on, despite us wanting to press pause and linger in a season. Our new season might turn out to be the best one yet.