Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fall In New England

Today is Halloween so Happy Halloween everyone.  Boy, has it gotten commercialized since I was a kid.  Yes, we could buy our costumes waaay back then, but most of us made our own.  “They” did sell different kinds of make up just for Halloween and that is generally what we used.  With a little “war paint”, some old clothes, and a lot of imagination we were all set to raid the neighborhood pillaging for candy. 

When I was a youngster, October was a fun month in the great Pine Tree State.  It was filled with cool brisk days and the smells of dying leaves permeating the air.  The leaves would be raked up into big piles on the front lawn where us kids would jump in them, roll in them, and cover ourselves with them.  Eventually the leaves would be moved to the side of the street and burned adding another unforgettable smell to our memory banks.

Colors and Smells of Fall

It was the time for that final harvest where the apples, cabbage, pumpkins, squash, and turnips would be gathered up and stored in the barn or cellar. It was a time for that famous New England Boiled dinner with it’s distinctive smell filling the entire house.  It was a time when apple pies and pumpkin pies would be sitting on the counter cooling while our mouth’s watered.

For us kids, Halloween signaled the end of a season for the morrow brought on the winter coats, scarfs, boots, and mittens.  It was almost as if Mother Nature just knew it was time to turn on the winter winds right after us kids gathered in our winter’s supply of candy.  Who could forget the hot apple cider with cinnamon and the home made plain doughnuts hot off the stove?

Times were so much more simpler back then.  Families were close by to celebrate the changing seasons together.  Crime was nil and hardly anyone locked their homes, cars, or whatever.  Most stores were closed on Sundays giving families a day together for worship and play.

The Home of My Youth

It was the time of the Baby Boomer generation which meant that there were lots of kids in the neighborhoods playing together.  Make believe and imagination were used instead of computer games and television.  Cowboys were the main stay on the two or three snowy stations that the old black and white TV received (we thought NBC stood for Nothing But Cowboys).

Ahhh, what memories, memories, memories Halloween and the month of October conjures up.  The 50’s and 60’s were a great time to be a kid in New England.  If I could pick anytime to relive, that would certainly be one of them – I guess I just did!!!

Take care until next time - - - - -


  1. Well said! I enjoyed reading your memories as I sat here looking out my Maine window on a somewhat gray morning with most of the fall leaves lying on the ground - but many hanging on until right before the first snow. Peggy and I are heading back to NY this afternoon for three more weeks. That will finish up that chapter of my soon to be released book on "How Not to Retire."

  2. Ah yes, I can still smell those leaves burning in our little rural town in IL.

    Thanks for the memories!


  3. Thanks for the memories! Sometimes we forget those good ole days... Nothing was better than growing up with Fall in NE..