Recently I attended the wake for an old friend of mine back in my ‘growing-up’ days in Hoyt Lakes (and earlier in the east Duluth neighborhood of Riverside). That evening I visited with folks that I hadn’t seen since my high school graduation. As I was leaving, a tall fellow with a familiar face, said: “Time really flies, doesn’t it?” Tom was right and I agreed. I know it’s a time-worn cliche, but it got me to thinking about the reality of passing years.
There were times, of course, when time didn’t fly so fast. Fond memories flooded my thoughts as I drove back to Hibbing. When I was a kid I remember Halloween in a far different way than it has become today. For the two weeks leading up to October 31st–and the trick-or-treating in our small community–all of us McGauley boys couldn’t wait for all the candy. As best as I can remember my mother always costumed us as ghosts by cutting eye-holes in old sheets. I can’t remember a house with its lights off. Nor can I remember any yard decorations of any note.
Time didn’t fly in the weeks before Christmas either. Waiting for Santa was an anticipation of many days as well. Each day toward Christmas Eve seemed like a week. The same agonizing wait was true in school as well. From the beginning of May . . . the wait for summer vacation seemed endless.
I guess memories are golden to me. As I contemplate Halloween 2017 I find it to be ‘just another day’. Except . . . For the past month I have witnessed the plethora of Halloween decorations around Hibbing. Thousands of dollars worth of blow-up creatures–from zombies to skeletons to scary, teeth-bared cats. Anything to scare our children. Not to mention the garish costumes in the shops. (One house in town had a clothesline of people hung with nooses across the yard). For the past three years I haven’t had a single child at the front door trick-or-treating. So I haven’t purchased any candy this year. Instead I’ll go to the Assumption School Halloween party. These days it’s probably a good idea to discourage kids from wandering the streets and have their fun in a safe place.
What distresses me the most, however, is that Christmas decorating of homes and yards pales in comparison to Halloween. I’m not sure how to reconcile that reality. I guess time has flown by me much too fast. Let me be the first to wish you a ‘Merry Christmas’.