This Halloween was my first as a resident of the city of Conway, and I'm not gonna lie — I was a little disappointed in the lack of festivity.
I was so excited when I set out on foot in old Conway with Spiderman and a black cat, thinking there'd surely be an abudance of welcoming porch lights.
A step or two away from my front door and I was quickly proven wrong, however, as we walked up and down College and side streets and saw only a handful of lights on outside of homes, one here, one there — only one or two incidences of two in a row. And we only crossed paths with other trick-or-treaters on a couple of occasions, too. We made it back around to our house fairly quickly and took to the car to pursue treats instead. (The upside of the lack of trick-or-treaters is that that those handing out candy were extremely generous. My kids were not deprived.)
Maybe we'd have had better luck inside of the subdivisions of West Conway, but I had my heart set on an old Conway Halloween.
I've been in love with the homes in Conway's historic district since I was a child. All of my life, I wanted to live there. When I was little, my family would load up in the car and drive from Greenbrier to Conway to drive around and look at the Christmas lights. For the past several years that I have taken my own children to do the same, I've noticed a steady decline in the amount of Christmas decor in neighborhoods where lights and displays used to be plentiful. And now in Halloween participants.
What gives? Last night I found myself pondering a couple of points, the first and most hopeful that those who used to put up elaborate displays and made it a point to participate in holidays are simply growing older and can no longer do the things they used to do. (Does this indiciate that my generation is too busy for tradition? How sad.) Another point, that people are afraid to open their doors to strangers. Grim, but plausible.
Navigating the sidewalks last night, I tried to imagine what Halloween may have been like fifty years ago. I would just about bet there were kids, pumpkins and welcoming porch lights everywhere. Halloween parties, even. And that realization; the realization of the world in which we live, and how busy and different times are, just made me sad for my own children.
No matter how busy I get, I will always, always slow down for holiday tradition.
Highlights of Halloween 2012? Spotting Santa in a Prius at the corner of College and Davis Streets and Finger Puppet Satan, retrieved from the bag of my 3-year-old and used in post-trick-or-treating battle royale against Cinderella.