August 24th, 2019

Reiss’s Pieces


Well, we are finally back home from the Cape. And it is probably just dumb luck, but the weather here is much nicer and considerably warmer. But now that I am back, I have to spend a lot of my time going to the physical therapist. We – the therapist who I absolutely love, and I – decided that five times a week is too much for me but that three times a week is definitely what I need. I think that it is going to work for me, especially since I am also going to follow every single thing that they give me to do while at home.


So, this morning I got up and very slowly and in considerable pain came downstairs with comparative ease since Malcolm put up another railing for me to hold onto. It may look a little strange to see two railings on our staircase but it sure works and makes it possible for me to go up and down those stairs without any other help. This morning after coming down the stairs I sat in my chair by the computer and Malcolm made me a cup of tea and an English muffin. I sat in my chair and began to eat my breakfast and kept my eye on the clock because today is one of my “on” days and I have P.T. at 10:00.


Just as I was about to thank Malcolm and tell him that my tea was prepared perfectly for me, I knocked the cup and sent half a cup of hot tea into my lap! And realizing that P.T. was only 45 minutes away, I took my wet and very unattractive pants off and put them in the dryer. Right now, I am writing this column and I can hear the dryer purring away. In about 10 minutes I am going to get my pants and pray that they are dry enough to wear and not look absolutely awful. That is how my day has begun, and I can only hope that it gets better, stiff and sore not counting.


I had planned to write about Halloween, which is fast approaching. And I have to tell you that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. At least it always has been. When I was young, my friends and I anticipated Halloween for weeks ahead and we planned our costumes with great care.


Of course, back then there was no such thing as a “store bought” costume and our masks were made out of gauze and wax, I think. What I remember most about those days was putting on what we thought were funny or scary clothes and then our masks. The masks lasted about half an hour before they actually began to melt. By the time we had filled our paper bags with goodies, the mouth and nose of our masks had completely dissolved and sort of flapped every time we breathed. But did we care? Of course not, it was what Halloween was all about. And I kid you not, if I think about it I can still remember what those masks smelled like! Not bad, mind you, just strange. And when we were considered old enough, we went Trick or Treating with groups of friends and no parents. The only ones who had their parents go with them were the “little” kids. Of course, back then we had nothing to worry about either. Halloween was fun and probably the only holiday except Christmas and Easter where we got candy! Do you think that the children of today can imagine such a thing?


When my children were young and still in elementary school, a few friends and I put together a Halloween party for them at the school. We made it as scary as we could and one year we had game booths, one or two years a haunted house and one year we had movies with a Halloween theme. The adults involved all wore costumes and I met each child and family at the door dressed as a scary mummy with a lantern to welcome them. I am still not sure how many were actually scared but they loved the idea of being scared and pretended to be. And then new people moved to town and demanded that the party be either cancelled or changed because they didn’t want their children scared. And, of course, they won, and Halloween in our area was changed forever.


Now my children have children of their own and the older ones are away at school and the younger ones live too far to visit Nana and Grumpy on Halloween. They do call me and let me know what their costumes are and they are lucky enough to live in areas that still let their children celebrate, and when they are done trick or treating they go to scary parties that of course, really don’t scare anyone. But the children still pretend and have a wonderful time.


So, my advice to you on this Halloween is this… let the children be whomever they want to be and when they knock on your door, be amazed or scared. Don’t let them know that you recognize the accompanying parent and so you know who they are. Believe me, the younger they are the more they think that you have no idea who they are and they are thrilled. And let the children have a treat at your house. A piece of candy or a candy bar is what they want, but if you want to let the word get out and you never want to see another costumed gremlin, give out a graham cracker or an apple! I still remember the houses that tried to give out those graham crackers and even back then I wondered if they didn’t know why all the children boycotted them.


And if you want to be a real sport and someone that the neighborhood children will talk about for the entire year, answer your door in costume. Believe me, the kids will think that you are the best and love every minute of trick or treating at your house.


So, from our house to yours, have a very Happy Halloween and try to enjoy every minute. Believe me, the kids will always remember this outrageous and silly day. And you can sneak a few tootsie rolls from their bags if you are careful!

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