I have no photos of myself on Halloween, when I was 6. I don't remember my costume, but I remember loving that we could trick-or-treat with no weather concerns. We were in our Staten Island apartment building, that year.
The few trick-or-treat experiences I'd had before took place in Iowa, with jackets covering our costumes.
Celebrating in 2017
I figured I should find some way to celebrate like a 6-year-old this Halloween. I dug out an old Halloween mask that my mother-in-law had saved. I toyed with the idea of grabbing a bag and knocking on my neighbors' door. That could have been pretty funny or it could have caused a heart attack. The old mask is pretty creepy.
At dusk a steady rain was falling, so I had an excuse to nix that idea. Also, the Houston Astros were playing in the 6th game of the World Series. I had a feeling a lot of people wouldn't be answering their doors anyway.
So I just had some fun with the mask at home. I put the lovely thing on and walked downstairs, trying to navigate each step with my blocked vision. I walked through the house conjuring up memories, as my face steamed up from my own breath. Oh how I once loved those Halloween masks in their see-through cellophane boxes. But how I hated the claustrophobic feel of them on Trick-or Treat night!
I caught Don unaware in the other room and gave him a good laugh. I thought about answering the door wearing the mask, but the doorbell was silent. By the time it finally rang, I was done with the mask. It was only the UPS driver, anyway. He said he had enough candy already.
Yay, for Halloween memories and yay for only having to wear a mask for 1 minute!
From Iowa to New York
When we moved to Staten Island in 1963, I was pretty thrilled to live in an actual apartment building with elevators and incinerators! What I didn't love was having neighbors living above, below and beside our apartment. We didn't know who these people were, but we heard them and that was creepy. I may have only been 6, but for some reason I was concerned about our family making too much noise. We 4 kids shared a room and probably did make a lot of racket. But I'm not sure why a 6-year-old was worried about that!
One day, I took it upon myself to write apology notes to my neighbors. I felt quite satisfied with myself, after I slipped the notes under their doors. I've often been curious about what those neighbors thought when they found my notes. I'm sure the messages were short and to the point. "I'm sorry my family is so noisy." I hope they knew the notes were sincere.
National Neighbor Day
I missed Neighbor Day, about a month ago, but like thank you notes... it's never too late to write a note of apology!
Today I decided to let my 31st celebration be about surprising my next door neighbors with an apology note. I made a card and used a pen. In 1963, I'm pretty sure I used a fat pencil and lined paper.
In 1963 we didn't know our neighbors. Today, we at least know John and Linda, after being neighbors for nearly 20 years.
I think they'll have a good chuckle when they find this envelope under their mat... at least I hope so! Thanks for being good neighbors, John and Linda... and for letting me include you in my 31st celebration!
Summer in October
It was 90 degrees today, so I reverted to my childhood with pool time.
I had toys... bubbles and a floatie.
Shadows and Clouds
I didn't know how to swim when I was 6. The few times I was near a pool at that age, I had to have a blow up ring to give me courage.
So today, I floated in the pool. The adult side of me wanted to read a book, but I blew bubbles, like a 6 year old. That lead to shadow watching... it's odd that a bubble can make a shadow.
Best of all was cloud watching! Oh how I still love finding animals and faces in the clouds!
Santa Rosa, California
When I was 6, I had two favorite comic strips. Family Circle reminded me of my own family of 6, but Peanuts was my most favorite. What child could resist the images of Snoopy and the rest?
Two weeks ago, Don and I visited Santa Rosa, the sweet town where Charles Schulz lived the last few decades of his life. I had some fun celebrating with my favorite Peanuts characters.
Don and I wandered from our hotel in Santa Rosa's historic Railroad Square.
We came upon a few memorable characters in the park and along the downtown sidewalks.
Before leaving town, Don and I made a stop at the Redwood Empire Ice Arena.
We remembered coming to the ice rink nearly 35 years ago, hoping to catch a glimpse of Charles Schulz, ice skating.
Warm Puppy Cafe
Although the famous cartoon artist skated at the rink regularly, we didn't see him on our visit years ago.
This time, there was no hope of a sneak peek, but we saw lots of Snoopys ... in the Warm Puppy Cafe, with views of hockey players on ice!
It was 10 am and chilly when we visited.
I could have used a cup of coffee, but I chose hot chocolate in honor of my 6-year-old self.
We left the cafe and noticed the "Abbey Road" image painted on the walkway.
A gracious employee noticed us studying the flat, painted images and insisted we pose for a photo. What a playful way to end our Peanuts adventure.
5 days after writing this post, I woke to the news of wildfires in California. The friends we had stayed with earlier, in the hills of northeastern Santa Rosa, lost their home. Charles Schulz's widow was evacuated and lost the home she and Charles once shared. It's been almost a week and 2 dozen fires are still destroying homes and habitats.
Now, I look at this whimsical photo that I've been using as a Facebook profile pic for 2 weeks and I feel extra sad. So many, many people have lost homes, pets, heirlooms and even loved ones.There are a lot of people out there who are in need of mental health support, these days. And certainly all of us could use the comfort of a warm puppy!