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Carol Perkins: I admire clever mothers

A Halloween essay. The celebration, then and now.
Next earlier Carol Perkins column: Carol Perkins: A toothache hurts, but a backache is grueling

By Carol Perkins

I admire clever mothers. I'm not sure I was ever very clever. I made a bunny cake one Easter that Carla still remembers, but Martha Stewart I was not. Youngsters are lucky if they have clever mothers who work each holiday into a memorable cooking event.

For instance, not so long ago I heard a young mother telling about how she and her husband and children "cooked up" Halloween meals, drinks, and treats for several days prior to Halloween- all according to a theme. Slim cookies, orange punch, worms in the spaghetti sauce, and other such cute ideas! What impressed me was the fact all of them did this together. "Your children will have wonderful memories," I said.

"I sure hope so."

I might not have made Halloween treats, but our kids certainly went "all out" in their costumes and spilling out all the candy they collected onto the dining room table, careful not to confuse whose candy belonged to whom. Carla was often dressed as a princess or a Cinderella and never wore a mask because most of them made her face sweat. Jon, however, chose the most frightening mask he could find and jumped out from behind a wall to scare Carla when she least expected it.

I, along with other neighborhood mothers, walked the streets in our subdivision with our kids trick or treating together. It was a long night for us, standing far enough away from them as to give the lady or man at the door a chance to guess who they were. As Carla grew older, she was torn between handing out candy at home and collecting her own. Jon never liked handing out the candy; he didn't care who was behind the mask as long as he got his stash. "Don't give out all the Milk Duds," he would tell his sister.

If my grandchildren lived close enough, I think I would be a clever grandmother. I saw a picture of sugar cookies rolled into the shape of fingers. The nail was an almond sliver, the wrinkles on the skin were made with knife indentions, and the bottom of the finger was dipped in red jam of some kind to look like blood. I thought about making some and mailing to my grandchildren but they looked so real and so gory, I was afraid they would have nightmares.

Trunk or treat has replaced most of the door to door canvassing, and that might be a safer way for kids to celebrate a few hours behind their Ninja Turtle or Cinderella costumes. As for Guy and me, we'll have candy on hand in case anyone shows up, which no one has done for years. The candy does not go to waste!

(My new book, A Girl Named Connie, is available at Blossoms Florist and Boutique Unique, 507 Happy Valley Road, Glasgow, KY 42141, Phone 270-629-3597; the Edmonton/Metcalfe Chamber of Commerce, 109 E Stockton Street, Edmonton, KY, Phone 270-432-3222; and the Lighthouse Restaurant, 1500 Sulphur Well/Knob Lick Road, Sulphur Well Historic District, KY 42129. Phone 270-629-3597. And Also on Carol Perkins, PO Box 134, Edmonton, KY 42129. Phone 670-432-5756

This story was posted on 2016-10-26 04:46:01
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