I always hope for reasonably warm, dry weather for "Fright Night."  When I was living in Chicago, however, chances of that on the last day of October were slim.  More often than not, Halloween night would be cold and/or rainy and our costumes would be hidden under layers of coats or raincoats.  Still....we still found ways to have fun.  

     Now that I'm grown (my wife might argue the grown up part), have kids and grandkids, I still have vamp1-2.gif (44558 bytes)the same hope of mild, pleasant weather.  It's always more fun for the kids when they can enjoy the evening and show off their costumes without freezing to death or being all bundled up in coats.  Luckily, here in Virginia, the odds are much better and most of the time Halloween days/evenings have been pleasant.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed for nice Trick-or-Treat weather for the kids this year. 


     Our first Halloween away from Chicago was in Denver Colorado in 1979 where I was stationed for a school after being commissioned.  We were living in a very nice apartment complex in Aurora just outside Denver with an abundance of younger couples with kids.  Carrie was a baby but Brandy and Denise were old enough to enjoy Trick-or-Treating around the complex.  Late October weather in Denver was pleasant and I remember it as rather warm during the day and cool but still comfortable in the early evening when the kids Trick-or-Treated.  It did get rather chilly later at night but by then the kids were done with the evening's festivities.  We had a lot of ghost and goblin visitors that evening and I was kept busy answering the door while Hil took the kids out to get their share of the candy.


    When we lived in Biloxi, about the only thing that would spoil Halloween was a downpour or a hurricane and late October evenings in Southern Mississippi were normally still shirt-sleeve weather.  If anything, it was sometimes a bit on the warm side for some of the costumes. 

     We threw a couple Halloween parties at out house while we were there.  They were popular with my fellow flyers at the 7th ACCS where I was assigned and with the nurses at Gulf Coast Community Hospital where Hil worked.  One year, one of my squadron-mates came as the Cookie Monster.  His costume totally encased him in long, thick synthetic blue fur and a huge Cookie Monster headpiece.  By the end of the evening he was drenched with sweat and was about dying in that thing but he was a good sport and kept it on all evening. 


    Hawaii was pretty much always beautiful weather for Halloween (and most any other time).  Halloween wasn't quite as big a thing with the locals but there were a lot of military families living in Mililani where we owned a house and we always had a decent turn-out for Trick-or-Treat.  We had a couple Halloween parties at our house there as well, continuing the tradition of inviting the people who worked with me at Pacific Command and the nurses that worked with Hil at Queen Emma Hospital in Honolulu.  We had a 16x35' in-ground pool in the back yard with a diving board (it took up almost half of our Hawaii-sized back yard).  Everyone brought bathing suits and when the costumes just got too warm, a quick dip in the pool was just the ticket to cool off. 

     Our first Halloween there (1984) was also our first party in our new (to us) house; the first of many parties in that house during almost 4 years that we lived on the Island.  On Halloween afternoon, as Hil was making veggies and other "finger food" for the party, one of our daughters ran to me to tell me green water was coming up into their bathtub. 

     When I want and looked...sure enough, green water.  This was our first home with a garbage disposal and I guess we hadn't gotten the "hang of it" yet.  It seems Hil was putting the veggie pealing in the disposal so quickly that they clogged the pipes.  I had to find the outside drain plug (not that easy since we'd only been in the house a short while and I had to hunt all over to find it) and feed the garden hose into it to blast the clog out. 

     If that weren't enough, about half an hour after the party started, the entire neighborhood lost power.  It was off for almost three hours and we had to resort to several large candles for inside lighting.  We found out later that, rather than the work of some magical power-robbing orb or the power company playing a Halloween trick, it was just a Gecko that had gotten into the circuits at the main power sub-station, shorting it out.  It did make for an interesting Halloween.


     When we moved to South Carolina, we found the weather trickortreat.gif (18747 bytes)there not much different than Mississippi.  We had a nice house across the street from a lake and did just a little decorating for the event (we'd get into serious decorating a couple years later).  Our kids were old enough by then that they didn't Trick-or-Treat any more but there were still a lot of smaller kids in the neighborhood so we always had lots of little ghost and goblin visitors to pass treats out to. 


     We've been living in Virginia (the second time) since 1995 and we love it.  Over the years, since I've retired, from the military and we're not moving every couple years, our "collection" of Halloween decorations has grown each year.  The weather on Halloween night has (usually) been pleasant and we've always had a lot of kids coming by for fright night.