Witchy Woman


I love this photo of my sister and I from Halloween in 1978, we were standing in the kitchen of our grandparents' house. Every Halloween, we would go trick-or-treating in our neighborhood, then head to our grandparents' house to show them our costumes and collect some more candy. Our grandparents were very special to us, and we were at their house often. Grandma loved taking photos and had buckets of photos that she had collected through the years, I am grateful to have this fun photo that she snapped 44 years ago.

Our costumes were mostly handmade, as our mother was an excellent seamstress. The scary wicked witch from my favorite movie, "The Wizard of Oz", was the perfect costume idea. I was a witch for 3 or 4 years in a row, until that black dress was too small. Mom had a way of taking a simple hand-sewn dress and easily turn it into a variety of costumes. The white dress my sister was wearing as a princess, was also used to make an Indian squaw, and an angel costume. That black dress that I was wearing, with the iconic 1970's flared sleeves, was the base for a witch, a pilgrim, and a black cat costume. Accessories were easily bought like the witch hat or handmade like the crown with cardboard and tin foil. Mom would add makeup like bright pink cheeks and lipstick and eyeshadow. I thought it was fun putting on the makeup, but I hated trying to remove it!

My favorite fall activity was picking out the perfect pumpkin from Grandpas Garden and then planning a scary face to carve into the pumpkin. It was special evening carving the pumpkins with our mom and then displaying them onto the front porch. On October 31st, Mom would light a candle and put it inside the pumpkins to light up the porch while we were out collecting candy. The jack-o-lanterns came to life as the light danced inside our pumpkins and the candlelight glowed through the carved eyes and mouth. One year we returned home from trick-or-treating to find our jack-o-lanterns smashed to pieces on our front porch. I was devastated, as I could not comprehend how someone would do something so mean.

As I grew up and became a mother to three children, I carried on the tradition of pumpkin carving and planning out Halloween costumes. As I was still trying to perfect my sewing, I opted to buy costumes for the kids. It seemed that my children loved the pumpkin carving and dressing up as much as I did as a child. Time flies by so fast and now that my kids are grown, I look forward to sharing Halloween with my grandchildren. I still enjoy dressing up and here is a photo from last weekend of me dressed up in my favorite costume...A Witch!





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