Halloween in the Hills by Sarah Loudin Thomas | Oct 30, 2017 | Appalachian, Family, Food, Friends, Memories | 6 comments I LOVED Halloween when I was a kid. I’m still pretty fond of it even today. But when I was little it was all about playing dress up and eating candy. I was one of those little girls who wanted to be something pretty. An angel, a princess–something pink and sparkly. And Mom was a whiz at making gorgeous costumes. Although I’m still a little annoyed about having to wear a turtleneck under my princess dress (see photo–that’s just not right!). Never mind that it was 40 degrees. I could have toughed it out. But trick-or-treating was different when you lived in the hills of West Virginia. There was no running around subdivisions or shopping malls collecting candy. We piled into the car (angel wings rated the front seat) and drove from house to house. And we knew everyone we visited. Shoot, we were related to most of them. Aunt Dorothy had homemade caramel apples and popcorn balls, Aunt Bess had full-sized candy bars, Grandma had little piles of candy arranged on a TV tray near the door, Floyd had Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (hands off, Dad!). And at each stop–especially when we had masks on–there was a great to-do about guessing who we were. When my dad was a kid growing up in the mountains of WV, that was a BIG part of Halloween. You actually tried to disguise yourself so that friends and neighbors couldn’t recognize you. And there were more pranks. Apparently involving outhouses more often than not. Halloween was about visiting and laughing and connecting with community. In the 17+ years we’ve lived here, we’ve had a total of five trick-or-treaters at our house. Although we live outside the city limits, we can see several houses from the front porch and still no one dresses up or sends the kids around. Oh, there are a few decorations out, but that’s it. Everyone takes their kids to where the houses are closer or to a church trunk or treat. I say they’re missing out BIG TIME. I miss when Halloween was family time. When we got as many hugs as we did candy bars. When we could eat anything we got–even the homemade stuff–because everyone who dropped something in our bags loved us. 6 Comments Mom on October 30, 2017 at 10:23 am Trying to recall why you don’t have your wings “on” in this picture…… Reply Sarah Thomas on October 30, 2017 at 10:27 am Because this is the princess dress, not the angel . . . Reply Brandy Heineman on October 30, 2017 at 11:16 pm I liked beautiful costumes, too. I have vivid memories of being a pink vision of loveliness when I was 4 or 5 as a tulle-clad princess. Imagine my horror to discover the pictures of that costume, which show that I was wearing one of Dad’s insulated undershirts and had deep blue eye shadow well past my eyebrows… Reply Sarah Thomas on October 31, 2017 at 6:52 am My memories don’t match the pictures either! Funny . . . Reply Jennifer Zarifeh Major on October 31, 2017 at 4:47 pm 5??? Oh wow!! I loved reading this! And aren’t the angel wings *always* there? Reply Sarah Thomas on October 31, 2017 at 7:52 pm Dusty and slightly askew much like the halo. Reply Submit a Comment Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.