It was about 5:15 Thursday evening and I was driving home in the rain, thinking about how disappointed I would be if I were a child because it was too wet to Trick or Treat.
But when I turned the corner into our neighborhood, I saw several children dashing up to houses from their parents’ cars. I pulled into our driveway and went into the house. Jenny was sitting at the kitchen table, grading papers.
“There are kids out on the streets; aren’t we going to give out Halloween candy?” I asked.
She gave me that look, the one that says “How gullible do you think I am?”
“Really,” I said. “They’re out in the rain.”
She went to the window. There were all the regulars – Spidermen, Cinderellas, even Duck Dynasty characters.
What to do? Our usual plan of taking camp chairs and sitting at the end of the driveway was out of the question. We didn’t want to get wet, even if the kids didn’t mind. We decided to open the garage door, set up our chairs and hand out candy from the garage.
“I hope it’s not too creepy for kids to see,’ said Jenny, noting that the dusty old boxes and junk we need to throw out was a nightmarishly scary sight. Maybe they would be too afraid to weave through the cars in the driveway and come up to the garage.
“We won’t have very many,” I predicted. “It’s going to pour.”
Wrong. Well, only partly wrong. It did pour.
During the next couple of hours, we had more than 250 Trick-or-Treaters, down from the 800 or so we usually have. But the street still was lined with cars, as children ran to houses and then back to waiting cars.
For most of the evening, it was a mild rain. It even stopped for a few minutes. It started raining again and the water was blowing sideways, just as a neighbor from down the street came walking up with her two small children. They took refuge in our garage.
“I need a car,” she said, trying to comfort the kids who were upset that they had only gotten to stop at three or four houses before the deluge.
“Here,” Jenny said, dropping a couple of handfuls of candy bars into each one of their little plastic pumpkin bags. “Now it’s just like you’ve been to lots of houses.”
I finally took them home in our car. Jenny moved our camp chairs a little farther back into the garage because of the swirling rain.By 7:30 p.m., most of the younger children had come and gone. The next batch would be groups of teenagers who usually are too lazy to even dress up.
“This isn’t much fun,” I said. “Let’s close it down and have some dinner.”
Jenny, sitting in her raincoat, didn’t need much convincing.
So much for Halloween. The only decision left is what to do with the 550 leftover pieces of candy. Well, it’s not really 550. By Monday, we were down to a little more than 500.
We must have mice.
T. Wayne Mitchell, Gazette publisher, can be reached at 662-534-6321.