October. Already. It's hard to believe, isn't it? This is the time of the year I get melancholy...and more so than at Christmas. There has always been something special about this time of the year...even to a little girl. I was blessed to grow up in such a beautiful countryside....although you couldn't tell that to an 18 year old who was anxious to spread her wings. Now that I have grown old, I realize what I have missed all these years...and long to go back home. I've included some of my memories here...the memories of the little girl me...when all was at peace with the world. Please, bear in mind that I have no pictures of my childhood...only one that I received two years ago from a cousin I met online while doing my genealogy. We'd had a fire when I was about 16 years old, and all of our treasures were destroyed.
The above picture of the beautiful countryside I grew up in.
Trick or Treat. Wow!!! What an exciting time that was for a little girl. Times were different back then. I remember mom would never let me out until dark, and then we were always allowed to go by ourselves because those were the times when children were safe. Dinner was usually such a chore...and mom would make me clean my plate. Then, I would dress in my costume and nag...and nag....and nag. And mom would always say, "Ask me one more time, and your going up to bed instead." But, little girls know different so, of course, I would nag some more....until darkness finally set which meant it was time for "Trick or Treat." Me and my friends would be out for hours...going from house to house. Of course, we had to move swiftly for in those days, there was a 9:30 curfew...and once that whistle blew, everyone under 17 had to be in their homes, or they went for a ride to the police station.
When this time of the year rolls around, I think about what the children today are missing out on. It's not safe to go out after dark anymore, so by the time I arrive home from work the trick or treater's are already back in their homes...so I don't even have the joy of giving out the candy. And, with what people are putting into the candy, children nowadays basically only go to the stores. It's not safe to accept from a stranger anymore. It's just so, so sad.
Another fun part of October was the harvest. Some friends of my parents had a cornfield up in Sussex County, New Jersey, and they used to allow me to come at harvest time...and allowed me to think I was helping out. They really didn't need me, but they knew how much I loved it. When I wasn't helping with the harvest, I was getting lost in the cornfield.
Another yearly favorite. My neighbors always took us to the pumpkin farm to choose our own pumpkins for the festivities. Oh, choices, choices, choices. I wonder now where all of their patience came from. We'd spend what seems like eternity pacing back and forth, admiring the same pumpkins over and over again...until finally we were forced to make our choice. From there, pumpkin in hand, it was off the the roadstand where we'd have a grilled hot dog and a chilled root beer in a mug. Then, on to our homes where we would then proceed to mangle the poor pumpkins we'd spent the whole day searching for.
One of my fondest memories of Autumn was raking up the leaves into a huge pile, then throwing ourselves into them and spraying them all over the ground to be raked up again. Hours were spent engaging in this activity until finally our parents would come out, have us rake the leaves into a pile one more time, and then they would light them on fire. The entire neighborhood would smell of smoke.