I've probably told this story before. Probably already related this little piece of remembrance. But because it's that time of year again, and because I'm full of nostalgia, I'm gonna go ahead with the telling. When my sisters and I were little, our Daddy was the one who always took us Trick or Treating. I'm not sure how that decision came about, but I'm thinking it had something to do with the fact that all of the houses we visited were his relatives and it gave him a chance to see and say hey to just about all of them in one night. I could be wrong. But Mama always stayed home and handed out candy and Daddy always chauffeured. I'm not a fat kid for nothing. I like candy. Preferably chocolate. Preferably with peanut butter. And I generally wracked up in the treat department each year. But there were always those few houses that I hated going to. I'd roll my eyes and grump up and ask daddy if it was okay if we skipped those houses. He refused my wishes. My Aunt Kate and Uncle Guy lived in a small three room house a few hundred yards behind my grandparents. Uncle Guy being my Papaw's older brother by close to 20 years. They had electricity, but no running water, which meant they had, and employed, a genuine outhouse and a genuine well. Now, I loved Aunt Kate and Uncle Guy. I loved Aunt Kate's gold front tooth and I loved that the two of them always smelled of sunshine and Ivory soap and I loved how they were always happy to see me. They weren't grumpy old people. They were kind and they smiled a lot. I loved their outhouse and I loved their well. I loved sitting underneath the pecan trees with them in the summer and reading out loud to them from whatever book I was consuming at the moment. I loved the big river rocks that served as steps to their back door. What I did not love was the parched peanuts and yellow apples they offered up each year as Halloween treats. In fact, I down right detested these items and I think I may have even felt a little embarrassed for them. But every year we went. Every year I begrudgingly accepted the treats into my pumpkin shaped pail. And every year my Daddy would happily eat those peanuts that Aunt Kate had painstakingly parched in her own oven and then poured into individual sized brown paper bags, and that mealy red or golden delicious apple. Those were Daddy's rewards for driving us house to house. The kind of treats he was pleased to get when he was my age.
Nowadays I pass out Twix and Three Musketeers and Snickers bars at my house. Mostly because I know I'm gonna get to eat the leftovers. But every October 31 since my Daddy passed I make sure I text my sisters the warmest of Halloween memories because we would all trade our weight in chocolate for a sack of warm peanuts and a car ride with our Papa.