tonight, i took BC (AKA Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz) and Jools (AKA the not-so-cowardly-but-very-squirmy-lion) trick-or-treating down our street. we only visit the houses we know on our little cul-de-sac, so we don't do quantity. but most of the neighbors are sweet; they invite the kids in, let them pet their dogs, let BC do a twirl or two in her costume, and then proceed to pour pounds of candy into their bags. (we don't get a ton of traffic on our street, so they can afford to throw tons of candy at the street's kids. some of these people buy FULL-SIZED BARS, mind you. it's boggling.) one elderly couple, the hacketts, who moved last year used to create little goody bags with the kids' names on it. i never had this sort of experience growing up, to be sure; but then again, i didn't know any of my neighbors growing up, either, except for the Blakes, the Venticinques, the Emmerts, and, well, that's it for Hilltop Road.
so we were rounding the cul-de-sac corner, headed toward Miss Hattie's house. Miss Hattie lost her husband, Bob, earlier this year after a long, debilitating illness. Bob, as crotchety as he liked to seem, always invited BC over to swing on his old swing and play in his backyard. He was truly a kind-hearted guy masquerading as a tough old career Navy man. eventually, we made it to Hattie's door. Hattie was gracious as ever, offering BC (and Jools, who was more interested in ringing her doorbell incessantly) tons of chocolate.
"Miss Hattie," BC said, "i miss Bob. i remember swinging in the swing with him."
i thought Hattie was going to tear up. but, as a woman who i suspect had to be a very tough military wife in her day, she steeled herself. "you know, i miss Bob, too," she replied. "thank you for saying that, dear."
as she hugged BC, she added, "you know, i didn't really decorate much this year for halloween." her daughter, who lives across the street, told me that hattie didn't have the heart to decorate this year, her first halloween without Bob for like 50 some-odd years. but no matter.
without missing a beat, BC replied, "but Miss Hattie -- you have your broom on the porch! that's a good decoration."
"why yes, it is, dear, yes it is." Hattie chuckled, momentarily moved from her memory of loss.
"and Miss Hattie," she added, "you have a great big spiderweb on your light. that's good for halloween, too!"
under normal circumstances, i would be mortified that my daughter would note something like that. i mean, the lady must be pushing 80 at least, so i imagine that cleaning cobwebs isn't high on her to-do list. but when i saw Miss Hattie break into a smile, i could have squeezed my daughter from here to next halloween.
good save, bunnygirl.