Good citizens, past, present, and future.

For Halloween I treated myself to a simple beaker of flowers.

Eye candy for humans, real candy for bees:  borage and phacelia

Borage and phacelia, good citizens of the garden, giving treats to all.

But I also received another, unexpected, sweet treat for Halloween; a lesson in good citizenship.

Friday morning a stranger knocked on my door; a smiling, cheerful, young woman. She told me that she lived down the lane opposite me. She said she wanted to take her two children  trick or treating. Would it be okay  if she brought them to my door around 5pm? ( Bear in mind that Halloween is not widely celebrated in New Zealand).  She said she was consulting a half-dozen neighbours and that would be more than enough households for her children to visit, and to give them a taste of Halloween fun.  They are only little, she said, just 4 and 6, and they are very excited about their Halloween costumes. Of course I said, yes, that would be fine, but I would have to go and buy some sweets because I had nothing suitable in the house.  “Oh, please don’t worry about that,” the young mother replied, ” I have prepared sweets for you to give them if you would like to join in.” Whereupon she produced a small ziplock packet of mixed sweeties/candy.

At 5pm exactly, Mum and the littlies came down my driveway, full of chatter and high pitched glee. They knocked on the door and squealed delightedly when I opened it ( I guess I have authentic witchy-white hair!) . “Trick or treat, ” they said in giggly unison. Their mother introduced them to me. Pleasantries exchanged, I produced the sweet assortment, and their little eyes grew round and big with amazement.  Hands dipped in to the bag until it was emptied. Then, with a polite thank you or two, the pink-slippered, silver-hatted witch and her Dracula-draped brother skipped off to another happy reception at my neighbour’s.

It was a lovely moment. Possibly one of the best Halloweens I have had; a thoughtful mother, teaching her children that their community  is a good place, and that they can be  part of the good citizenry that makes it so.

I hope she will, one day, also introduce them to what comes after Halloween; All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Days (also not widely celebrated in New Zealand, as far as I know).

Tonight and tomorrow I will light candles and remember  the good citizens of my small world who have died during the past year. Some were old and ready to leave us,  whilst others seemed far too young. In particular I want to remember two of our blogging community,  Catherine Crout-Habel  of Seeking Susan and Christine of  Dadirridreaming .  Many of you will know other bloggers who have died in the past 12 months. Please feel free to remember them in the comments, if you would like to.  They were good citizens enriching, and lighting up, our lives.

Summer lights

Summer lights brightening the days.

© silkannthreades

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146 thoughts on “Good citizens, past, present, and future.

  1. restlessjo

    This is beautiful, Ann, in both respects. I think of Christine whenever I take a certain walk, and other times often catch me unawares. Wonderful how some people touch our lives, isn’t it? 🙂

    Reply
  2. Steve Schwartzman

    Your mention of two bloggers you know who’ve died in the past year is a reminder that the legal status of the websites of people who die is still up in the year. The occurrence is new enough that legislatures and courts haven’t worked it out yet, and my impression is that the interim status varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction even within a single country, and all the more so internationally.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Steve, thanks for raising this very important issue. We should all be considering our digital legacy and possibly making provision for it in our wills. Note to self; discuss with lawyer next time we meet.

      Reply
  3. Letizia

    How lovely of the mother to have provided the candy and created such a special Halloween event for the community.

    And I’m sorry to hear about the passing of your blogging friends. We form unexpected bonds in this blogging world despite (rarely) meeting face to face.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Letizia. The bonds we form on the blogosphere are special. I suppose it’s because we are in touch almost every day, which may be more contact than we have with our RL friends. Words form powerful bonds….EBB and Robert B may be a good example of that.

      Reply
  4. diannegray

    I think it’s wonderful this mother would do this. I would have joined in as well! We don’t do Halloween here, but it’s fun to see the kids dressing up and meeting the neighbours 😉

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Kids love dressing up, don’t they! I probably would have loved dressing up for Halloween,too, if our family had celebrated it. Our playroom had a big basket of dressing up clothes, to which my mother kindly added her wedding dress! We had fun but it didn’t do her wedding dress much good. 😦 Mind you, it wasn’t in good condition anyway because it had deteriorated badly in storage.

      Reply
  5. lostandfoundbooks

    You get so many comments, I almost feel guilty commenting! But I did feel moved to respond: it is so kind of you to help that mom give her little ones a fun Halloween. So many people think it’s just about the candy, but it’s really (in my experience) about community, celebration and creativity. My daughter loves getting all dressed up and visiting our neighbours. It is a highlight of her childhood.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Comment, comment away. I love to hear from you. 🙂 🙂 I am glad to hear that Halloween is about community and celebration for you, too. And that your daughter is learning to love her community and its traditions. What costume did she choose this year?

      Reply
        1. lostandfoundbooks

          I think for many girls there is a movement away from the store-bought costumes (which are sold here in North America) which are really inappropriate. We have “sexy nurse”, “sexy cat”, “sexy vampire” etc etc. And that’s for little girls. Ugh.

  6. Gallivanta Post author

    From Kirra111, daughter of Catherine of Seeking Susan “How lovely, thank you for remembering my Mum, Catherine Crout-Habel, taken from us almost four months ago, way before her time. Lovely to hear that she is remembered for enriching peoples lives.”

    Reply
  7. Cynthia Reyes

    What a lovely, kind and thoughtful post, Gallivanta. thanks for it. I could see the scenes with the mother and her children. And feel your sadness at the loss of blogger friends.

    We prayed for “the saints” at church on Sunday morning – for the living saints and the ones who have gone on before us. It was a great reminder that saints aren’t only those blameless people (and those who only got sent to the principal’s office once, may I add…) but ordinary people like you and me trying to live up to our beliefs and doing our best to be kind to others.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you for being at church and doing the praying….I am less than saintly in my church going these days. 😉 But, yes, I do love the idea that we are all saints, or have saintly potential, and that there are many who are/were saints but have not been officially recognised as such.

      Reply
  8. shoreacres

    The Halloween tale is lovely. I actually miss having the little ones come to the door, but in my apartment community, there are few children. In fact, I’m only aware of a handful who are junior high age. I’m sure in the surrounded subdivisions it was a different matter. I don’t like the commercialization of Halloween, nor what I call the “adultification” — I’ll leave that to your imagination. Suffice it to say I’ve heard tales of office Halloween parties that are scarier than any tales we heard as children.

    All Souls Day and All Saints Day both are marked here, of course. Tomorrow, if I can manage it, I’m going down to Galveston to see the cemeteries there. Many traditions clean and decorate graves, and the departed from this past year will be remembered in the more liturgically-oriented churches.

    I have a copy of Alexander Carmichael’s “Celtic Invocations” — collected years ago, compiled, and given to me by a friend. The Beltane Blessing is lovely, and his collection gives some background on the practices associated with the blessings. I’d forgotten it until I saw the comments above.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Hope you managed to visit the cemeteries at Galveston; if not in person, perhaps in imagination, or even virtually. Not quite the same, I know, but I do love all the cemetery databases that offer images of headstones, these days. Makes it much easier to ‘visit’ family members. The Beltane Blessing is lovely as are so many of the Celtic Invocations. The ‘adultification’ of Halloween is big business, isn’t it!!!

      Reply
  9. April

    Lovely flowers,and what a heartwarming story. The photos of your flowers, and the way you describe the area you live, would be a place I could probably totally relax and not one bit of anxiety would bother me. You never know…one Halloween I could show up on your door with my ice cream scoop. 😀

    Reply
  10. KerryCan

    Such a warm, nice post (as usual!) I love the story about the young family coming to your house–I’m so impressed with that mother! And I love your New Zealand tradition of visiting the dear departeds–we don’t do anything like that here!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      She was awesome. 🙂 I don’t know how many of the comments you had time to read but I hope you saw my comment with the video of Jean Redpath. I was looking for a song to connect with very early Halloween celebrations in NZ and came upon Jean Redpath’s songs. A revelation to me but probably a singer you know well. She died this last August, so I feel she is exactly the right singer for my post of remembrance.http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/aug/22/jean-redpath Do you have a cemetery nearby which is a pleasing place to visit? Some are not, but others offer great contentment, I find.

      Reply
      1. KerryCan

        I hadn’t noticed that link! I love Jean Redpath but didn’t know her version of this song. I heard it first from Priscilla Herdman (love her, too!) And, yes, we have any number of cemeteries I can visit–I find almost all of them wonderful places to walk and think. But even I might not go to one on or around Halloween! 😉

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Yes, wait for Halloween to pass. You will laugh about this….. I didn’t ever like driving through Sleepy Hollow, NY, at night. 😦 How silly! I had a listen to Priscilla Herdman. Beautiful, beautiful voice. Not a name I recognise but the voice is familiar somehow.

        2. KerryCan

          My sister lives right up the road from Sleepy Hollow–in Briarcliff Manor. The Sleepy Hollow cemetery is one of my all-time favorites under normal circumstances . . . but not at Halloween! They do a BIG business there with spooky tours at Halloween however–I imagine there’s a headless horseman involved. 😉 Glad you like Herdman!

  11. Just Add Attitude

    Reading this made me feel good because it’s a heartwarming and uplifting story. And thank you for the timely reminder about All Souls and All Saints Day, I did vaguely recall, but I had filed that recall to the back my mind. 😉

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      🙂 Glad I could shine a little light into the back of your mind. The back of my mind is stuffed full of oddments. But it’s like my real life attic, dark and mysterious. I know stuff is there but what stuff exactly I have no idea.

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  12. mmmarzipan

    Oh my gosh! The most heartwarming of posts! I love what that mother did! Incredibly thoughtful, especially given that Halloween is not so commonly celebrated in NZ (it’s not in Aus either, but is becoming more popular). And tears sprang to my eyes when I came to the end of your post and saw mention of Auntie Catherine, for whom we lit an All Soul’s candle just last night (as well as for all our recently deceased relatives… even Catherine’s baby Jarren 😥 ). You are a beautiful person and I am glad you live in such a wonderful neighbourhood! Our neighbours called us and said they had treats for our little ones, so we just went to their place… but my children were so excited! And last night, L didn’t want to leave the cemetery… he said he wanted to stay with the candles ❤

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Awww, I am so pleased to hear that you lit candles for Catherine and Baby Jarren. I thought you would, and I was wondering if you would be at the Woodland Cemetery. I have included the video you posted last year in one of the comments here because it is just so beautiful. Sweet L 🙂 ,not wanting to leave the candles. What dear neighbours you have, too. Were they special Swedish treats for All Souls
      I do miss Catherine’s posts and our conversations via comments.
      Enjoy the rest of your weekend with your dear family.

      Reply
      1. mmmarzipan

        I miss Catherine too 😦 I really feel for her kids, who miss her terribly. Isn’t that video just gorgeous! And so Swedish! We actually went to a cemetery closer to home, just across the bridge on the old working class island of Södermalm (which is now populated largely by rather well-to-do hipsters 😉 ) The church is called Katarina- and it’s beautiful (but not in an overly ornate kind of way, probably as the Swedish Church is Lutheran!). Have a wonderful Sunday night over there xx

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Lovely to have a place to go to that is closer but also very beautiful. My greetings to Catherine’s children when you are in touch with them.

        2. Gallivanta Post author

          The Woodland Cemetery looks as though it is beautiful all year round; such thought and care went in to its design. Did you see that Kirrily wrote a new post on Catherine’s blog?

        3. mmmarzipan

          I did indeed… it was one of the first things I read this morning and helped put things into perspective as I braced myself for a “challenging” day. I also saw your lovely comments to her. I know it means a lot to the family that Catherine was so well liked and respected amongst blogging peers. Thank you for being so kind ❤

  13. Tiny

    That was a beautiful Halloween story! I had never celebrated Halloween before we came to the U.S…we always celebrated All Saints Day and went to the cemetery to remember the departed. In our blogging community, I miss Christine and Deb (of Ye Shall Know Me by My Fruits). Btw, your flowers are a much better Halloween treat than my dark chocolates. But you should know I bought them just in case of a knock on the door. And now I have to eat them 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Tiny, I knew very little about Halloween till I lived in the US. My children used to enjoy the dressing up part of Halloween. The candy was collected but then it was hoarded and never eaten!!! Were they afraid to eat it? I have no idea. But I was happy that it wasn’t eaten. Oh, that’s awful about your dark chocolate….oh dear…..but you are so wise not to let it go to waste. 😉 😉 I am happy to throw out sweets but not dark chocolate. Never! I didn’t follow Deborah Avila but I have just checked out her blog. I am glad we knew these good people and that we can still read what they gave to us.

      Reply
  14. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

    A wonderful posting. The flowers on your table are beautiful and provide the perfect opportunity for me to ask the name of the little blue flower hanging over the side. I have these growing in my wildflower garden but haven’t been able to find them in a gardening book.
    The young mother did a nice job setting her children out for Halloween with consideration for the participating neighbors.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Sheri the little blue flower is borage. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borage The bees will love your garden forever if you grow borage. The little flowers taste like cucumber and are delicious in a salad. The borage in my garden is prolific (and messy ) but I don’t mind because it brings so much insect and bird life to the garden.
      After the young mother came with her children another very young mother came by. She looked all of 16 or 17 and she had a toddler in a push chair. The young girl was dressed in costume, the toddler was not in costume but had some facepaint. I didn’t have anything to offer but I felt sad. The teenage Mum appeared to be using the toddler to obtain candy for herself. I was sad for her and sad for the toddler.

      Reply
  15. Andrea Stephenson

    What a wonderful and thoughtful way to introduce children to Halloween. We didn’t have many trick or treaters this year but it was lovely to see the little ones in their costumes and their delight at choosing a sweet from the bowl.

    Reply
  16. quarteracrelifestyle

    Your posts are always so lovely! What a super young Mum to do that conspiring so both her kids and the neighbours would be ok with it all. It’s such a new thing here and my hubby doesn’t think much of it – like many Kiwis. I think it’s really cute and enjoy seeing the kids dressed up and happy. We had none call but I was out and about and saw lots of tutus and batman’s.
    Nice thoughts here x

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Wendy, I am a bit like your husband re Halloween. It seems to be a festival that has been foisted upon us by commercial interests. However many children via exposure to US culture know about Halloween and are curious. In the spirit of learning about others’ festivals and traditions and having some fun, I can accept Halloween. But I wouldn’t want it to be considered a NZ festival.

      Reply
      1. quarteracrelifestyle

        I think it will become that way Gallivanta. There is so much about it on TV now and yep, retail companies promote it – it seems to be getting more popular every year. I never used to like it at all but now I just think it’s one day a year for kids to dress up funny and actually meet some of their neighbours 🙂

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Yes, fun and neighbourliness are good. Maybe Halloween will replace Guy Fawkes eventually. That is another strange thing we celebrate.

  17. Wendy Macdonald

    It’s such a lovely bouquet and you’re such a lovely neighbor to help out that dear mother and her sweet children. You always manage to create such beauty and joy in your posts.

    It amazes me how close we feel to bloggers on the other side of the globe. When one of my poet friends died, I walked around the house in a daze and eventually wrote a post dedicated to her. I had called her my angel poet. So many people miss her.

    You are an angel blogger too.

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I remember that post you wrote. It was a lovely tribute to your angel poet. I was completely stunned when I read that Christine had died. I still miss her cheerful comments and her view of the world.
      You are sweet to call me an angel blogger. One with a halo that periodically falls off, I would say. 😀 We are all ‘angels’ to each other.

      Reply
  18. Robbie

    First-your vase is beautiful!!!
    I wanted to tell you that! I love fresh flowers on the table-I need to do it more:-)
    Thank you for sharing an amazing story about a young woman that is teaching her children the world is not a scary place + it is good to know your neighbors!
    My husband is the decorator when it comes to Halloween. I make sure, I get everything out for it means sooooo much to him to sit on our porch and greet all the kids. This year it was special for our second grandchild came to visit. My husband kept saying, We have to do this for him + do that for him + make sure he does this.(he is just 1 yrs old)..lol..it was so precious. It reminded me why it has been great being married to him for 34 years:-) I have to admit , I love the little children loving all the lit up things we put outside + we even carve pumpkins the old fashion way-with a knife, cook our pumpkin seeds + stuff our faces with the candy for the kids!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      What lovely Halloween traditions you enjoy. I love that your husband sits on the porch waiting to greet the children. Does he dress up in costume? The children, (including your grandson), in your neighbourhood, are learning good citizenship, too.
      Btw, what is the modern way to carve pumpkins? With an electric knife?
      From your last post I can see you have lots of flowers that you could pick to bring inside. My flowers aren’t fancy show pieces; just whatever is available and plentiful. The phacelia loves to be cut, as it encourages more flowering. If you have time to look back through my blog, you will see that I use parsley and mint and all sorts of oddments in my arrangements; it’s fun that way. Glad your Halloween was good.

      Reply
      1. Robbie

        My problem is “picking” them from the garden beds-lol. It is silly, I know. My husbands grandmother use to have a flower center piece ( not fancy) of ones she picked. I just need to do it. Well, my cats do knock it over some times which makes it difficult, but this year I did pick more than last:-)
        No, he does not dress up but he sure has fun:-)
        Well, a lot of people today do not carve pumpkins with a typical knife. They ‘scrape’ the design and use patterns etc. They look lovely but have lost the simplicity which made them so endearing:-)

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Mmmm….well, I have been known to apologise to the plants for picking them. 😉 And some I have picked and found to my horror that they wilt immediately; I suffered great guilt over those ones.
          Ahh, I see what you mean now about modern methods. The only time I carved a pumpkin (many moons ago) it was with a knife and the results were very simple and awkward.

  19. Leya

    Such beautiful flowers and such a lovely story – many people should learn from it how to be a good mother and a good neighbour.
    I don’t celebrate this day, but light candles and think of our friends and relatives who are no longer with us. It’s so good of you to also include friends from the blogging community this day. Christine I was happy to follow and also sweet Ajaytao. I know there are others and many more.

    Reply
  20. Clanmother

    I can see why it was a wonderful Halloween. In an age uncertainty, community is gives a sense of purpose and hope. These children will remember this Halloween in the years ahead. I know that I did!!! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I hope they will remember some of it. I hope I do, too!! My daughter remembers her first Halloween for all the wrong reasons. It was our first time in the US for Halloween. Her Preschool said we should prepare Halloween costumes for our children. To me, this meant “make” a costume at home. So we did. I thought we did well. My daughter came home in tears because everyone else had a store bought costume, or store bought elements of one. We did not repeat that mistake. 😦

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It was really very quiet here too. Guy Fawkes on November 5th gets much noisier than Halloween because of the fireworks. The animals hate it. Sensible animals.

      Reply
  21. Mrs. P

    I really enjoyed this post for a variety of reasons. I loved everything your neighbor did…including providing the treats. I love that she preselected people and she limited it to a half dozen. Young children do not need to be overwhelmed with to much candy. A half dozen makes it fun but not too much. And what a wonderful introduction to the neighborhood, both for you and their family.

    My thoughts have been with my father today…how appropriate, indeed. I have spent the last hour pondering a painting in memory of him.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Mrs P, those children are blessed to have such a thoughtful parent. They were so excited over the candy but I expect it would be rationed once they got home.
      I am thinking of your father, too. I am glad you mentioned him. I was going to but thought it best left to you to comment about it, if you wished to. Hugs and special thoughts.

      Reply
  22. Coulda shoulda woulda

    How sweet of you the mother and the street. Halloween is getting bigger here though but it’s not automatically expected although the adults are well into the holiday. But yes all saints day is today but not so celebrated here. Reminds me to light a candle tomorrow

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, I noticed the Halloween photo in your latest post. Is your little candle shining brightly? Probably a bit early for that unless you are enjoying breakfast by candlelight. 🙂

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Brenda. I am sure you provided a happy and loving Halloween for your family.
      I do remember Ajay. He was a very popular and supportive member of the blogosphere. Would you like to share a link to Bill? I am not sure that I know Bill.

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Thank you Brenda for the link. What a wonderful blogger I missed connecting with. Lovely that his words are still there to encourage others.

  23. colorpencil2014

    Lovely story, Gallivanta, those children come from a warm home and are a wonderful promise for the future. Love your beautiful bouquet…from your own garden? The little bleu birds are so sweet too.
    And indeed, All Souls an All Saints is one of those extra specials days to give some special thoughts to ones that have left our lives but gave so much. Have a wonderful weekend, hugs from the other side of the world, Johanna

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Johanna. The flowers are from my garden which is something of a wilderness at the moment. The little birds were a gift from a friend. New Zealand has come out rather poorly in a recent UNICEF report on child poverty. Many more of our children need a warm and loving home like the one my two wee Halloween visitors obviously enjoy.

      Reply
  24. afrenchgarden

    What a lovely way to celebrate Halloween. I used to love it as a child in Scotland. We did not celebrate it as “trick or treat” the way it is done in the U.S.A. but you can always take things into your own hands and create, as this lady has done, and given a lot of pleasure to her children and the neighbours. Amelia

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Amelia, blessings upon you for giving me a new perspective on Halloween with your comment. It made me wonder if my Scottish forebears in New Zealand would have celebrated Halloween. And I suspect the answer is yes. I have been busy thinking of Halloween as a festival which has been foisted upon us in recent years but, many years ago, it would have been a time fondly celebrated by Scottish folk not long arrived from the old country. Here is an account of a Halloween Evening in Dunedin in 1897 http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=OW18971104.2.55 Some of the traditions would be familiar to you, perhaps. In honour of this reconnection I have made with Halloween, here is one of the songs sung in 1897 in Dunedin Jock O’ Hazeldean.

      Reply
  25. inmycorner

    Gallivanta – I really don’t like Halloween much in Canada – it has become far too impersonal and out of control. I LOVE, however, your Halloween encounter. Imagine – this tradition being one that could build community? I think I need to work on that one here in little old Barrie, Ontario, Canada. Thank-you for the inspiration – please pass along my congratulations to your very inspirational neighbour. All Saints Day is totally overlooked here – and I love the idea of recognizing those who have passed. This action brings such respect and reverence to life itself. I will recognize two fellow bloggers mentioned in your post – Catherine and Christine – and thank them for their contributions to make our blogging world a richer place because of their lives.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you for remembering Catherine and Christine. Blogging was a very important part of their lives.
      And, perhaps, you will be lighting a candle for your aunt this weekend, or ,perhaps, it will be something to do this time next year. 🙂
      Mmmmm……..I am curious to see what Halloween treats/traditions you may initiate in Barrie! I love the cute little treats that Marylin featured in her blog https://warnerwriting.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/things-that-go-bump-in-the-night/

      Reply
      1. inmycorner

        I”ll bet they were very interesting people. Maybe I will read their blogs anyhow. A candle lighting may be a great thing to do – for each of our mothers and fathers in that family. Thank-you. I’m curious too! At least this post has generated a lot of controversy – the start of a revolution?

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          A revolution? Help! Me? Start a revolution? I am much too timid, though I must confess that I like to be a bit subversive at times. 😉

  26. utesmile

    What a very thoughtful mother to ask first and provide the sweets. I don’t do Halloween and don’t agree with the trick and treating…. but this way I would have done it too!
    We have all saints day and All souls day in Germany and also another Sunday called “Toten Sonntag” when we remember our loved ones who died. A hard month for some.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes,Ute, I was perfectly okay with this gentle approach to Halloween. I didn’t know about Toten Sonntag. I see that it is on November 23rd this year. It is a ‘silent day.’ How wonderful for a whole nation to have a ‘silent day.’ But, yes, November will be a hard month for some.

      Reply
  27. Playamart - Zeebra Designs

    it’s a win-win gift of life that this young neighbor has possibly expanded the circle of mentors that might dote on those precious children. you are so kind and thoughtful, and they are surely happy to know the ‘bucket mailbox’ lady… (i’ll alway cherish that story!)

    november 2 is ‘the day’ here in ecuador, and many people travel back to their home towns and observe the day of the dead. many take picnic lunches to the cemetary and even set a place for their deceased loved ones and tell them about things that have happened, etc. i was traveling yesterday and saw many people selling stunning fresh-flower arrangements for cemetery-bound travelers.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      We live on a busy street, so families with young ones don’t tend to stay long. They want quieter neighbourhoods. At the moment we have a few families around and I love listening to the noise of the children at play, or even their crying and tantrums! My young Halloween visitors may not be around for long but I hope, wherever they go, they will have good memories of this Halloween.
      The Day of the Dead celebrations in Ecuador impress me. I love the idea of setting a place for a deceased loved one, and all the other traditions.

      Reply
  28. Sheryl

    I enjoyed the story. Your neighbor sounds like a wonderful person. In the US, most people don’t really think much about All Saints Day anymore–and this post was a nice reminder to remember those who have passed during the last year.

    Reply
  29. ladysighs

    What a lovely story for Halloween. We miss so many opportunities to teach our children basic courtesy and manners. Halloween has become so commercialized with costumes and parties.
    Nothing against costumes and parties. 🙂
    Beautiful flowers….not as fattening as candy.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I thought it was a lovely, gentle way to introduce the children to their neighbourhood and to Halloween. The flowers are very slimming. The Borage is edible and delicious. Not sure about the phacelia; I suspect it’s not edible so that one is extra slimming.

      Reply
  30. YellowCable

    That was a lovely Halloween. I love the sound of children saying ““Trick or treat in giggly unison” and the smile they gave you when you hand them candies. Such a sweet moment!. Your daily summer flowers look so sweet too 🙂 Happy (late) Halloween to you.

    Reply
  31. LaVagabonde

    I love it that the mother not only asked you, but she also didn’t impose on you to buy anything. This is the first year since I’ve left the USA – over 15 years ago- that I didn’t celebrate Halloween. I usually watch a good scary movie or two, eat some sweets, maybe carve a pumpkin. I’ve switched over to All Saint’s instead, which is one of the most important holidays in Slovakia. Like you, I will go to the cemetery and light some candles at the communal shrine for my departed loved ones, human and animal.

    Please let us know if you encounter anyone else in the cemetery. I’m very curious. Wishing you a wonderful day of light and remembrance.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Sadly, Julie, no one else was there. 😦 However, as the graveyard is on the grounds of an Anglican Church, there may be a special service in the morning (Sunday).

      Reply
  32. angesco

    What a lovely story of Halloween. Fun for all it happily seems! And thanks for the reminder about what follows. I will be remembering several dear departed souls.

    Reply
  33. thecontentedcrafter

    My dear Gallivanta, this was music to my ears! Such a lovely event, what a wonderful insight to good mothering and good neighbouring too 🙂 I too light candles over this time to commemorate those who have journeyed on. It is especially cheering to me to know others in my blogging community do likewise. Thank you for this lovely post.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Pauline, it is good to have at least one time in the year to stop and remember. Sometimes a sprig of rosemary in hand helps the process, I find. I stopped by the church yard this evening to greet my g-grandparents. No one was there but me. 😦

      Reply
  34. Juliet

    A lovely story of a good mother, Gallivanta. I hope that more and more people will also celebrate the spring festival of Beltane at this time, since this is our season, and commemorate the true meaning of Halloween/Samhain/All Souls on April 30 when we are on the threshold of winter. It’s so important to honour the seasonal origins of these festivals. Your vase of flowers is a perfect Beltane/Spring offering!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, it would be good to have everything round the right way. My flowers are very Beltane, aren’t they! I notice in one of your older posts you suggest wearing a sprig of green at this time. Maybe tomorrow I will freshen my vase with some of the lovely greenery that is in the garden at the moment.

      Reply

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