Casten Kids Make the Most of a Cold Halloween

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by Michael Casten |

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The winds howled and the blustery snow started falling early in the day. It was an unusual sight for the last day of October — Halloween. The city was quickly covered in a blanket of wet snow. Driving became slow and methodical, motorists keeping their distance from the cars in front of them.

As the day wore on, tree branches fell from the weight of the snow and winds brought a chill to the air. Children looked out the windows at school, wondering what was to become of trick-or-treating. They planned their attack against the winter storm, saying they’d wear their coats, boots, gloves, and scarves over their Halloween costumes. By the end of the school day, the storm seemed unrelenting. Kids and teachers parted ways, entering into the weather unknown.

By the time I arrived home, the downpour had stopped. Biting winds whipped the freshly fallen snow in swirls on the wet pavement. The kids were excitedly putting on their costumes. They wanted to brave the cold and get what was theirs: the candy.

We dressed them in layers of clothes under their costumes and went to a neighbor’s house where other families were gathering. We were greeted with warm cider and wine. We took the annual group Halloween picture, and the kids dispersed into smaller groups to chase childhood dreams of bagfuls of candy. 

For the first time, Lindsay and I let our children go trick-or-treating on their own. We drove down the block to another neighbor’s house that was serving as a warming station. There was a portable fire pit on the driveway, the flames being taunted by the winds. In the garage were hot chocolate, warm cider, and an array of adult drinks.

Within 10 minutes, our kids arrived to warm themselves by the fire pit and indulge in hot chocolate and cider. Lindsay and I wanted to get home to greet any trick-or-treaters. The sun was setting, and the temperature was dropping.

Ella was the first to join us at home, about 40 minutes after starting her trek. She was red, cold, and had a bag full of candy. We set her up at the kitchen table to plow through her spoils. She ate some favorites, and shared with us as well. Next to arrive was Henry, with red hands and matching cheeks. He entertained the notion of dividing his candy into categories, picking and choosing what to eat first. Ava was the last one home, sporting a smile from ear to ear. Her bag was the fullest of the three.

The kids talked and ate, and by bedtime their tummies were full of sweets. Despite the horrible weather, all three kids braved the elements and created a memory that will last forever.


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