Halloween is serious business in my neighborhood, an area of closely packed houses built in the late 19th/early 20th centuries. It’s where everyone—and I mean everyone—in Ithaca and the surrounding towns goes to trick-or-treat. The first year we lived here, we were nearly overwhelmed by the number of kids who rang our doorbell. The next year, my husband bought a clicker and we sat out on the front porch with our tub of candy. He counted each trick-or-treater who visited our house. And twice I had to head to the store to buy more candy.
Over the years, the number crept up . . . 476 . . . 504 . . . 553. Last year we had 605! This year, we’ve got 25 pounds of candy ready to give away, along with a separate bowl for vegan kids. (Ithaca, home of Moosewood Restaurant, has lots of vegans.) We’ll sit out on our front porch, talk with the neighbors, admire the kids’ costumes. (My favorites are the wide-eyed little ones who aren’t quite sure what’s going on.) My mother-in-law is coming to visit from Pittsburgh—for years we’ve told her about trick-or-treat night here, how it’s like a huge neighborhood party, and now she’ll get to see for herself. The forecast is for a chilly evening, so I’ll have quilts and hot cider ready to keep us warm on the porch.
I suppose we could buy a couple of pounds of candy, and then turn off the light and go inside when we run out. But Halloween here is too much fun for that.