Halloweens Past: I’m the Cozy Sweatered Lady Now


I’m feeling the wonder of autumn tonight.

(It’s probably because peeling apples makes me feel like a domestic goddess. I should probably dial it down a bit. If I ever fold laundry and peel apples in one week, my pride may swell larger than anyone will be able to stand. That’s why I have to take things slow in the domestic realm.)

There is a dutch oven full of said apples of pride, now peeled, cored, and simmering on the stove in a stew of cinnamon candies. In a couple of hours, I’ll mix up some biscuits to float on the top, they will cook from the bottom side to the top, and I will cover with a sugar sauce that is autumn on a spoon. Apple Dumplings mean it’s fall.

I have lit two candles, one pumpkin buttercream and one apple cinnamon. Because there is a strong theme around here and becuase I am the boss of this day.

The house is empty, except for me and the sounds of Christy Nockels, which I highly recommend when you’d like ambient company that requires absolutely nothing of you.

Trick or Treaters will be here soon. I get to count and compliment each of the cowboys and princesses who visit my door. I’m filled with the memories of a dozen halloweens    past.

The year when my dad taught my sons to say at each door, “Trick or Treat, Thank you, and Merry Christmas,” but one of them didn’t quite have the articulation down, so he told everyone, “Thank you and Merry Pisses.”


The several years when my youngest boy predictably ran out of steam when we were as far from home as possible.

The year when I marveled at a whole gaggle of princesses, and one of my preschool sons said, “Mom, don’t be so impressed. None of them have penises.”

The year when we got a Scarecrow for the front porch, and my boys named him Grandma.

The year when the most prized find in Tyler’s loot was a bookmark.

The years when I dressed them as pairs – Batman and Robin, Mario and Luigi, Woody and Buzz.  I really wanted to do Ketchup and Mustard, but by then they were onto my game and nixxed the whole charade.ECFD7653-E145-4F35-84F2-E90E2E9A341F

The year when Peter came into our lives, and I purchased a Halloween costume that has stood the test of time: I have henceforth continued to be Pete’s Dragon.E49F5CF6-8A15-4A0A-9DF0-B46320590D8B A0DD3F55-926F-41AC-9322-1A43CD0E8ADB

That same year, he taught the guys a game called Pitching Pumpkins. I learned that it’s the only reasonable next-thing to do with pumpkins whose faces have smashed softly in on themselves with decay: it’s time for batting practice.

The year when I carefully rationed the candy with each ring of the doorbell, until Tucker came home, opened the door, and said, “Here you go.  Take it. Take it all.  Happy Halloween, you crazy kids.”

This year, we have brand new neighbors with two tiny little girls – each of whom have never trick-or-treated because their lives started just before a pandemic.  They’re new to the cul de sac, and I’m happy to be the sweatered cozy lady who will gush over their costumes and load their little pails with more candy than their baby teeth can handle.

I’m so happy to be the one stocking your homes with candy tonight.   Lay it all out on the floor, and let the kids go wild.

Happy Halloween, you guys.

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. A fellow I worked with showed me a picture of his twin grandsons, aged six months, dressed by their mother as minions. They were fall-down-laughing cute!

    Before they had children, my next-older brother (I have 3 older, 1 younger) and his wife dressed their black Lab as Aunt Jemima, with red-checkered apron and kerchief-cap.

    Two men in my college class came to a Halloween party as one of the men. The one shaved off his mustache and beard and gave the hair to the other, who fashioned the hair into a mustache and beard on his own face with spirit gum, then borrowed the first one’s clothes and signature hat. So everyone at the party said, “Hey, look! Scott came as Bill! Cool! But who’s that guy with him?”

    Loads of great imagination out there! 😉

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