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2020 was the best Halloween ever
Schendel-Dremsas Halloween 2020
THE SCHENDEL-DREMSAS were decked out in their homemade Halloween finery when they paid a visit on Halloween. The group was en route to a Halloween gathering with their ‘COVID pod.’

RISING SUN - Was it just me, or was Halloween 2020 the best Halloween ever? Leading up to the big day, I saw so many people complaining on social media about their right to party at bars taken away, about how people could go through a drive through, but kids couldn’t trick or treat. Yadda Yadda Yadda. But then, I saw people getting creative and having fun with the crappy hand of COVID global pandemic cards we’ve all been dealt. 

During this time of all of the joy feeling like it’s been sucked out of everything, I was happy to be able to make Halloween work. We lucked out with the weather being absolutely perfect for outdoor gathering and trick or treating for one, a real boon compared to last year’s frigid temps. 

For us, we opted not to participate in traditional trick or treating. Rather, making some socially distant stops at neighbors and friends and joining together with the people who’ve been in our ‘pandemic pod’ since the beginning. 

I of course was worried about how all of this would go over with Thatcher, who at age of four has what seems like a clear grasp on everything. I was anxious about making his costume, wanting it to be perfect for him. Of course he wanted to be a ‘Gold Winged Vampire Bat’ -something they don’t readily sell at our neighborhood Walmart. 

However, I got lucky and found a wad of gold taffeta and some plain black fabric at a thrift store and a zip up sweatshirt to boot for only .50 cents. All in all, I was only in on his costume for four dollars. I must say, it turned out pretty damn good for four dollars-worth of fabric and some hot glue. Thatcher was so impressed with my handiwork that he requested his dad be a vampire, so he could be his batty sidekick. 

A whole new feat was set before me. One that was accomplished with some cardboard boxes, the taffeta and a plastic tablecloth. Chasca made a perfect ginger Dracula, if I do say so myself.  

Not to be forgotten in the costume department was the mama (me, of course) dressed like a witch. Not exactly a wart nosed pointed hat witch, but more of a Stevie Nicks Chic kinda witch complete with a broomstick made from an apple tree that got run over in our yard accidentally. And of course, my little ginger cat, Waylon. 

We made a stop at Editor Charley Preusser hilltop abode. Both kids seemed quite excited to finally show off their costumes. Charley, a bit unprepared for trick or treaters, managed to scratch up a few odds and ends to satisfy the crew. Including tiny cans of cola, beef sticks and a can of cat food for our old black cat, Lunch. 

Thatcher, being the sincere and sweet guy he is, sat Charley down and told him “I’m very thankful for you Chawee for sending this cat food for our Lunch.” 

On the way to our next destination he exclaimed “Can we make going to Chawees and drinking Cokes a tradition? It’s a great Halloween tradition! I think we should do it every year!”

The ever wonderful party planner and grannie extraordinaire, Janet decorated her porch extra spooky for the boys. But I think Chasca and I enjoyed it the most, for the kids only had eyes for the candy corn and cookies. 

We haven’t enjoyed a regular old dinner with other people at a table together in a long time. So the prospect of having such a gathering felt really, really special this Halloween. Chasca had just had a random COVID test at work, which came back negative and it felt a little extra safe to be able to bring that news to the dinner table that we shared with the people we keep tucked in our small circle. 

 The menu included a delicious serving of Feet Loaf, bloody finger sticks, deviled eggs with spiders, witches hair spaghetti with blood sauce and of course, creepy kitty cookies. The kids didn’t eat but a nibble each for both had gorged themselves on candy but the adults enjoyed all of the ghoulish good food.

Before dinner, in lieu of the traditional operation of wandering from house to house demanding candy from strangers, we made a few stops at dear friends and family homes that live neighboring to the boys grandparents. The kids were able to enjoy the delights of Halloween in a way that felt safe and was certainly a treat for all involved. They were spoiled by all of these people that love them, and reciprocated the love with blown kisses and words of gratitude. 

Exhausted that night, we all fell into bed and were snoring as soon as our heads hit the pillows. The next morning however, I think we all woke up with a little more pep in our step. Being relieved from all of the weights of the world that seem to be so dark and crushing lately, if only for one night was perhaps the best thing to happen all year. It felt so delightful to slip into a previous sense of normalcy and we’re already all looking forward to keeping the tradition alive next year. 

Editor’s note: I’ll have the Coca Cola ready!