The Ghost of Halloweenies Past

The first Halloween we were married, Sweetbuns dressed as me and I dressed as him, and we trick or treated my parents and grandmother. I think my grandmother wet her pants.

Sweetbuns as Libby Lu, and Libby Lu as Sweetbuns, complete with jewelry swap

We try to make holidays fun at our place. Even before we were parents, Sweetbuns and I would carve a pumpkin and hand out treats every Halloween.  Sometimes it was hard to do this, while wanting so badly to have a child of our own. In the early days, we were living in a great and festive neighborhood where the adults would also trick or treat. The most popular house was the one that handed out Bailey’s. One Halloween I went back to that house two times.

Here’s why:

We were sitting at the top of the 2 flights of stairs that led up to our front door, handing out candy to the ghosts and goblins. Well, this cute little Dracula came up, and said “Trick or Treat” I dropped some candy in his bag and wished him a Happy Halloween. He kept standing there, then added, “Could I have some more candy for my sister?”

Okay. This is where I wish I could have hidden under a rock.

Under the sea.

40,000 feet down.

I jokingly replied, “OH, now THAT’S a good one! The old could I have candy for my sister trick!” That was when something caught my eye, down beyond our stairs, in our driveway. It was a tiny little wheel chair holding the sister.

A cute little sister, dressed as a pumpkin.

This has to be the number one WORST faux pas I have ever committed, to date.

She and her sweet brother were the recipients of the rest of our candy stash.

Thank goodness this little family was sweet and had a good sense of humor. Otherwise, I’d never be able to repeat this story. They were new to the ‘hood and we became friends with them. Every time we visited, I felt a need to carry bags of candy to the kids.

Man, sometimes I think I was born with my foot in my mouth. This past August, when we were getting Punky ready to leave for college, we were on one of our many trips to Bed Bath and Beyond. The store was crowded and I almost ran into this little old man. He was, what I thought, doing a little impromptu dancing in the aisles. I blurted out, “Having a little dance break?” He smiled and kept dancing.

I mean, gee. I have dance breaks. Doesn’t everybody?

I noticed Punky giving me the look, and then she ducked out behind a display of kitchen containers. It was then that I noticed the man was physically challenged. I joined Punky behind the kitchen gadgets, but she left off to the next aisle like she’d never seen me before in her life. (She can do this easily since we don’t “match.”)

I miss these fun times with Punky, and I’m really going to miss her this Halloween.

One of my friends posted on his Facebook, “So- I’ve been thinking…maybe this empty nest thing is exactly as bad as I feared. I just realized…there won’t be anyone to carve a pumpkin with me this year.” I think you are right, T.C. How about we parents have a pumpkin carving party?

It's Sweetbuns and Punky's tradition to carve the pumpkin each Halloween. (Can you tell that Punky loves her "Dadee" ?)

I’m thinking all empty nesters are missing their little goblins this time of year.

Punky and Sweetbuns having a carving lesson

I have already sent Punky a Halloween care package to Texas. It was decorated on the outside with big Halloween stickers and colors. Inside, there was a costume she had requested, and some ghost treats I made for her and her new college friends. So odd to be at this point, but it’s still fun!

Punky and her Dadee are planning on keeping up the tradition of pumpkin carving by doing one for our Thanksgiving table when she’s home for the holiday.

Time to reminisce!

Baby Angel Punky, complete with wings, halo and slobber. (This was the night she learned to blow slobber bubbles.)

October 31st, 1993 was Punky’s first Halloween. Of course it had to be special. After all, it would be recorded in the baby book and on pages 16-22 of photo album # 3. We had planned on carrying her around the neighborhood to visit with everyone, but that year it was in the 30’s on Halloween night and we stayed inside.

We had waited on Punky for so many years, that our neighbors were almost as crazy as we were about her. One of our neighbors had 3 boys and they would come to visit all the time, passing Punky around, taking turns holding her.

The neighbor kids, dropping in to visit

So, on that first freezing cold Halloween everyone came to us!

In the early years, Punky’s costumes were made by yours truly, before she decided she needed to be Brittany Spears and we turned her hair yellow and she wore outrageous shoes. (There will be no photo here. Sorry. I think she would kill me if I shared.)

One year she was a bunny. The next, a lamb.

Lambsy Punky and the Great Pumpkin

The lamby outfit, I have to say was one of my favorites. She had a little tail with a pink bow around it, and as she walked, it moved. Around her neck was another pink bow with a bell attached.

I have no words. I adore this child.

She was a fairy one year.

OMG, THIS is what I so love about my Punky...Just look at that character telling her D-Dot and P-Pa about her Halloween adventures!

Too much fairy dust for one Halloween. Time to hang up the wings and rest

The year she wanted to be a clown was very, very difficult for me since I suffer from Coulrophobia –The fear of clowns. Buying and sewing the outfit was not bad. Putting on her makeup was not bad. Low and behold, I did okay with this one clown. She was my favorite clown and the only one I could stand to be around.

Punky Clown. (I do NOT like clowns, but this one, I adore!)

Years later, my friend and I took our teen girls and a group of their friends to a raucous and very frightening haunted house here in Nashville. While waiting in line, someone (probably my child) asked this grotesque clown to sneak up and scare me.  For the rest of the night, everywhere I turned, he was in my face. I screamed so much that night that, to the joy of my loved ones, I lost my voice for a full week!

As one of my favorite book characters, Junie B. Jones would say, “I don’t even like clowns. Clowns are not normal people.”

One year, Punky was a Choctaw Indian Princess.

Libby Lu and Punky Do on Halloween. Check out the cool authentic Choctaw dress (hand sewn by a family friend who is Choctaw) that D-Dot and P-Pa gave Punky! I made the Choctaw basket and actually (Yes, you can laugh) ordered the materials and made the not so authentically Choctaw moccasins that you cannot see in this photo.

A few years later, she was a Native American once more.

Punky and her girls as the Village People, ready for the high school Halloween dance.

In the years after we moved from the festive neighborhood, we would go to an annual dinner and trick or treating event at our friend’s home. We had daughters the same age who were close, and we had the best times together! The men would stay back and cook chili, and the Moms would walk around with the girls while they trick or treated. Poor M, Alli’s friend, had a hard time uh, shall I say, staying on her feet, and it seemed that every year she would land in a front yard and we’d all have to help gather up her spilled candy. One year, she grabbed Punky’s hand on the way down and they both landed in the grass. We were all laughing so hard it took a long time to get them back on their feet.

When we’d get back to the house, after grand bowls of chili, the girls would dump all their candy in the middle of the floor and begin trading off what they didn’t or did like.

The Pink Panther and Detective Clouseau (Punky and Libby Lu)

Last year, Punky was Mario. I was Mrs. Potato Head

Mrs. Potato Head.

I shall leave you with this.

May you have an amusing Halloween, and may all of your fond memories with your little goblins keep the laughter in these fun days.  Let’s try not to think of the Halloween parties they will be attending this year on campus.

-Libby Lu

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6 thoughts on “The Ghost of Halloweenies Past

  1. Great post. My children have already vacated Halloween with a great disdain for all things costume-related. I’m left to content myself by taking one of their first costumes (stuffed pumpkins) and dressing up teddy bears in these adorable punkin outfits. I amuse myself with Halloween and my memories whether they like it or not!

    • I LOVED that our gal loved Junie B Jones because I loved reading that series. They brought us many laughs. I hope if I’m ever laid up in a nursing home down the way, that Alli will come and read those to me.

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