Rita's Last Trick Or Treat
My mother-in-law Rita's interests always tended towards the classical, whether it was art or music. She also indulged Broadway plays, old black and white movies, and other refinements of culture. Still, her family stood above all in her world so she always joined us at picnics, parties, holidays--even the occasional Halloween adventure.
Some years back, Rita joined our family and my in-laws in a road trip to Crossroads Village/Huckleberry Railroad near Flint, Michigan. This historical amusement venue changes a bit for Halloween, the air filled with the sounds of ghosts, while supernatural characters haunt the train as it rides a short circuit out of the park.
It's for kids. There was nothing too scary. Well, I did teasingly ask my nephew Bill if I could pick him up so he could peek inside a window high on this locked workshed. I asked him to see if there were any ghosts lurking inside. He steadfastly refused.
"Why not?" I asked.
"There might be," he replied.
As we visited each reproduction of a centuries old shop, house or building, a costumed host or hostess was there to answer questions. And to pass out treats. Wow! Of course, the four boys in our troupe, came to look forward to the treat instead of any history lesson. And I was a bit surprised to see Rita's hand extended as well.
At the end of the afternoon, we collected in a hall to be served each a cup of cider and a donut. The boys counted their loot. Rita had her own little stash as well. Whenever we remembered that outing in the years that followed, if my mother-in-law was present, she would mention how she had her hand out there with the others, collecting her own treats.
Rita passed away two years ago at the age of 80. She was probably close to 70 when she did her last trick or treat there in Flint. Sometimes I think, wouldn't it be wonderful if Halloween was both for the young and old? Instead of the question, "Aren't you a little old for this?" you might hear, "Aren't you a little young for this?" Maybe it would make it more of a treat to be older on Halloween.
For guys like my blogger buddy Hoss, it would give new meaning to his favorite pasttime--"making my pile."