First, I know, I know. Halloween is over, but I’ve been thinking about houses too so bear with me. When I lived in Connecticut, Trick or Treat night was a big deal. My neighbors pulled out all the stops: wispy/scary ghosts drifted from their trees, moaning sounds floated from their house to mournful music, and a truly awesome display of creepy creatures adorned their lawn. People came from all over town with carloads of kids, and because I lived next door I had little choice but to join in the festivities. Which I was happy to do. I bought tons of candy to hand out, and one year, getting in the true spirit, I dressed up in a rented “Gone with the Wind”-style gown. You should have seen the children’s faces when I opened the door (though it wasn’t easy to get through in a hoop skirt).
Then I moved to Ohio—and in the country there were NO trick or treaters.
Same here now in Arizona. This was my first Halloween in this house, and I set out the two lighted ceramic pumpkins I love by the front door. I bought candy (Reese’s peanut butter cups) for any kids who might drop by. In this neighborhood none did (as I’d been forewarned) so I’m having to finish off the bag myself. Someone has to do it!
I’ve left not only the celebrations of holidays here and there but the houses I’ve loved. Not all of them were actually mine at the time. When I closed out my parents’ house where I’d been raised, I spent the last night there alone, thanking the place for all the memories that had been created over the years.
A few years later my mother-in-law’s home was sold, and my sister-in-law and I walked the empty rooms, remembering, mostly good times like the fabulous party we had when the bicentennial parade of tall ships sailed up the Hudson River right past the terrace. On that last night, she and I leaned on the balcony railing, saying goodbye to the gorgeous view of the New York skyline and the George Washington bridge lit up like a fairyland. We both shed a few tears as we locked the door behind us.
And now, I’m about to sell my own home in Tennessee.
It’s always hard to say goodbye. But you know what? All of those happy memories, and a few not so happy because that’s how life can be at times, go with me. And I’m already making new ones. Maybe next year I’ll rent another costume just for fun, but right now I think it’s time for another piece of candy. Care to join me? I’m happy to (virtually) share.
Have you moved around too? Or stayed in one place, making your memories there?
FYI: If you haven’t read my Kansas Cowboys series, the first three books are still available at etailers including harlequin.com. And the next, HER COWBOY SHERIFF, comes out in January!