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I'm a mom, a wife, a best friend. Sick with CFIDS/ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia since 1975 as a result of a nasty flu while still in grad school, it wasn't until the late '80's that I received a diagnosis. Until that flu I'd never really been ill before. With each year I get progressively worse and add to the bucket load of symptoms I'm living with. I've been blessed with an incredible family and best friend who've stayed with me through my struggles as we continue to find a way out of this monstrous illness and its complications. We've tried seemingly every approach to find my way back to health. Often I think our best weapon in this undesirable and unasked-for adventure has been laughter.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

I think it's about time for a light post today, a departure from the CFIDS/ME/CFS, fibro and all its myriad of problems. I've already had a huge fall today and managed to leave a lot of blood behind on the carpeting, suddenly seeing the wisdom of my surgeon, "Dr. Hunk" (you just knew I had to add that part, of course!) and since I had another approximately ten minor falls before and after that, I thought, perhaps the fellow knew what he was talking about when he put me on strict bed rest (imagine that! JOKE!)  

Anyway, since it's Halloween today, I thought I'd go to my favorite place, the past, and just talk a bit about this very strange custom we've developed in the US, Canada and Great Britain and several other European countries, as well as a few Asian ones.  Forgive me if there are other countries out there who celebrate - I'd love to hear about it if so!

Halloween had a funny start in my family.   Growing up, I had just gone to kindergarten in mid-September with no English when I started, but by October, I thought that I had enough of a vocabulary when I understood that we children were to go around that day (first mistake!) ringing doorbells for Halloween and presto!, we would receive candy for no reason whatsoever.  Of course, given my one month plus a week of English and having just turned 5 years old less than two weeks before, a bit was lost in translation, as they would say.

I just love this picture because it sums up the way my daughter was /is always looking out after the boys,  a real maternal person, just like her mom!

So, as soon as I arrived home from school I made another calculated escape - my poor mom: I was always so gutsy and/or adventurous or just plain crazy/imaginative! - and went "trick or treating" on my own without mom but dragging my poor younger brother with me, he who had a love/hate feeling about all the "adventures" I'd force onto him.  I thought that I was fully prepared, since I knew how to say the magic words after much practice in school that morning with "trick or treat" - or "trrriiiiik urrrr trreeet!" as the words sounded coming from my mouth.  Mistake number two: what I hadn't realized was that no one was trick or treating at 1:30  in the afternoon, nor were they using the front of their school dresses as a big bag to put candy into.  

Neighborhoods were true neighborhood back in the day (sort of like the little one we live in now, which is famous for its Norman Rockwell feel) and the front of my dress, with slip showing, was full of candy by the time my mother found me/us a block away from home - a HUGE breaking of the rules - I thought of it as "stretching" of the rules and I also strongly felt it WAS Halloween after all.  Heaven knows, my just turned 5 years-old mind said that mom was just too much of a foreigner to grasp the importance of the situation and the importance of Halloween!   My mom proceeded to lecture me the whole way home, angry as a hornet when really just scared and relieved  that I was alive, of course, while I was exasperated since I hadn't crossed any streets, after all!   Once we were home she dressed me as a gypsy, however, and miraculously she took me trick or treat to my heart's content, with little brother in tow.

HOWEVER: and there's always a HOWEVER when it comes to my mom.  The "old" European dentist was completely against all sugar.  She thought we were already "spoiled Americans" because we ate soooo much sugar.  Yeah: HUGE amounts.  Let's see, a piece of cake for my brother's birthday, my birthday, my mom's and my dad's.   Then there was always a bit of chocolate for Easter and Christmas and the couple of times a year someone would slip us a tiny piece of Russian candy.  Oh yeah.  We were sooooo spoiled!  I was shocked when I married hubs: he expected dessert every night. Dessert?  Was he kidding me?  That was for holidays only!  Talk about culture shock!   

But getting back to my mom: she would let us have about two pieces of candy and the rest would mysteriously disappear, a piece or two appearing only once or twice each year (and very stale by then!) as a reward for good behavior, good grades, or learning an EXTRA Russian poem.  Yep, my mom.  That rebellious soul!

At any rate, unfortunately - or fortunately, depending on how you look at it - there are no pictures remaining of our Halloweens growing up.  They would truly be priceless.  But I do have my kids' pictures and of course, I had to put some of those up!   Just be thankful you're only getting three!   The rest are in boxes that need organizing: a huge project that I'm trying to work on but things keep getting in the way!

I most certainly hope that those who live in the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy are doing all right.   We've had high winds and lots of rain with threats of snow (it snowed south of us) with a huge tree limb falling on one of our cars but we have had no electrical outages, just "almost" outages.   I do hope everyone is feeling the best they possibly can be, only better.  Ciao and paka!

Happy Halloween, everyone.   I hear hubs downstairs and it is endless kids coming to the door, just as it should be!  

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