Saturday, November 1, 2008

Celebrating Halloween, country-style

A few friends have asked me, "What do you do for Halloween out in the country?"

Well, it's pretty much the same as in the city, except instead of hanging out a Jack o’ Lantern and waiting for the ghosties and goblins to visit, we head to town.

The kids didn't seem too phased by this. I think my six-year-old understood why no self-respecting trick-or-treater would take the time to trudge up our long laneway before walking to our closest neighbour, about a kilometer (half a mile to you Imperial folks) down the road.

So the kids got dressed up here, my son as a ninja (not of the Teenage Mutant variety, just a cool-looking stealth ninja) and my daughter as a butterfly fairy/princess fairy/angel (really, why choose?) before loading into the car. Thankfully, the 10-minute trek to town doesn't phase them anymore (a nice change from the first few complaint-filled weeks of, 'Are we there yet?")

We parked by the baseball diamond downtown and headed over to Memorial Park for a Halloween party. We then walked across the road to Cameron Street, reputedly "the" place in town for the country folk to load up: "You'll hit paydirt on Cameron Street," said our in-the-know Realtor friend.

But what I liked most about Cameron Street wasn't the treats. It was watching all the families and kids sitting out on porches chatting with each other, talking about their weeks, making plans to get together. In a village of 1,400 people, everyone really does seem to know everyone else and there was just a lot of small-town friendliness going on.

I also learned two important things: apparently the school bus is a great place to meet other kids and my four-year-old knows more people in town than I do! But that's okay. Even though I miss my friends (that's been one of the hardest parts about starting from scratch) I know there are lots of good folks to get to know here. What's more, my kids are happy.

By the time we got home at 7:30, it was pitch black out. It was a clear night and with no exterior lights on, we could see about a zillion stars. It was a fitting end to celebrating our first Halloween country-style: admiring the wonders of the universe after admiring the wonders of small-town geniality.

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