It was a dark and stormy night…
Ok not really. The night was clear and cold, but living on a farm, every night was dark. On Halloween, the glow of an orange harvest moon only added murky shadows to nightfall.
With no neighbors, no sidewalks, no streetlights, treats were few and far between. My sister and I worked extra hard to fill our plastic jack-o-lanterns, making each piece of candy seem a treasure.
One Halloween, Momma drove us from farmhouse to farmhouse down Highway 77 from Smith’s Store almost to Manila. Nana went with us that year which made the outing even more fun. At 55 years old, this was Nana’s first time ever to trick or treat. Excited to play dress-up, her costume was brilliant yet simple as the best often are. An old stocking pulled tightly over her head to below her chin distorted all facial features, smashing her long humped nose and stretching her lips. With a black coat to complete the look, she became the witch from Snow White.
With our pumpkins almost full, we saved the best for last. The Cockram house was my favorite, built of native stone with a long gravel driveway that twisted through the heavily treed front yard.
There was good candy inside that house, you could just tell.
Turning the car lights off, Momma drove slowly up the drive, stopping a few yards away from the house, leaving us to walk to the front door with Nana.
Trick or Treat!
Do you have candy for my starving kids? Nana pleaded in a scary voice, adding an evil cackle and holding out a shaky hand.
Although family friends, it was evident they had no idea who we were. They peeped at our car, but the night was black, and without headlights the color of the car was not obvious. The drapes around the dining room window moved aside as someone inside watched us.
Do we know you?They asked.
No, we are just a family who needs lots of caaaandyyyyy. Nana screeched, nearly scaring me.
Back in our car, we giggled quite proud that we remained nameless. In the back seat, I felt inside my plastic pumpkin trying to determine the latest additions based on the size and shape of each small candy. Unwrapping a Bit o’ Honey, I popped it into my mouth, dropping the wrapper back into the jack-o-lantern. Nana joked about how we got them good!
Momma agreed, laughing as she backed down the drive toward the highway, still without the headlights. We were stealthy, covert, the car remaining invisible. The Cockrams continued to watch from the picture window, completely stumped.
Halloween was so fun!
A loud crack! A jolt that hammered us (seatbelt-less) into the front seat. My pumpkin spewed candy into the floor as I nearly choked on my Bit o’ Honey.
Quite the opposite of sneaky, Momma had rammed the car into a tree, breaking the taillight, splintering the tree trunk and bringing an abrupt end to our spirited shenanigans. The Cockrams spilled out onto the drive, actually excited their tree brought our identities into the light of this Halloween night.
Finally home, we had to explain this little trick to Daddy.
|My sister and me. I was seriously rocking the eyebrows…|
This post is Day 2 of BLOGtober Fest for Arkansas Women Bloggers. Theme Halloween Memories…
Angi Cartwright says
I know the area well & how funny this story is. Cute pic of you two.
Thanks Angi! But seriously. Joan Crawford eyebrows!!!!
Talya this is beautifully written. I lived in that area for awhile and you brought back sweet memories.
You are an amazing writer.
I am in line for your autographed book.
By the way, I am glad that you outgrew the eyebrows.
What a great story! You crack me up Talya!
Seriously, the best story Halloween story. Love that bit about your Nana getting so excited about it.
Oh that is the best Halloween story yet!
Julianne Thompson says
What a great memory, and beautifully told!
THAT WAS SO GOOD,,AND I COULD JUST PICTURE AUNT FRANCIS IN THE STOCKING AND BLACK COAT…SHE WAS ALWAYS SO MUCH FUN…AND I KNOW THE HOUSE YOU WERE AT…DOES BRING BACK MEMORIES…GREAT STORY,,,KEEP IT UP,,,
Great story! I can just imagine that one in my head. What a special memory to have shared with your Nana.
Oh my word, what a great story!! And what a wonderful memory with your Nana. Those are the kinds of things we treasure, aren’t they?
This story made me smile today!
Awesome! Maybe it helps explain your love of all things Halloween!
Wow! What a beautiful story!
Your Nana was the sweetest person and so much fun to be around. She was always happy and I never hear her say anything bad about anyone. Frances was so good to me. She drove Barbara and I everywhere. (My father died when I was seven years old and Mother took over the farming operation when Dad got sick.) Barbara and I played basketball together for seven years. Each of us knew what the other one was going to do. Love that Mother and Grandmother of yours.
Kelly Jo says
I love the story of your Nana! What a great description. Thanks for sharing!
Kelsey Erickson says
This warmed my heart so much. The funny thing is, I can picture this happening today! This story truly is indicative of our family, and I love it 🙂
HAHA!!! I’m behind on reading and doing my best to catch up, Talya! This is absolutely one of my favorite!!!=) By the way, those pre-Brooke Shields eyebrows are great!!!=)
Barbara Tate says
Read this again this morning. Nana was 55 when this happened. I am 77 now. Life sure goes fast.