Archives for : October1954

Haunted Thoughts

Halloween has become a special event in Monterey Park. With so many young goblins, a competition has started involving costumes and treats. We have gone the traditional route with princess, cowboy, ghost and bum costumes. This year, Stevie was trying to choose between Davy with his coonskin cap or a pirate. Daisy wanted to stick with her dress-up theory and be a queen. Apparently, she had been promoted from last year’s princess-in-waiting.

Like most of the mothers, I stayed at the house and gave out the treat bags that we lovingly created with homemade cookies and small candies. Steve usually placed a cold beer in his pocket and walked around the neighborhood with the other dads and kids. A pack of kids appeared at the door and did a trick or two to earn their bags. I know some mothers who went to great feats and made candy apples, popcorn balls with caramel, and fancy cookies. Not me. I have never warmed up to Halloween. I like seeing the children all dressed up and enjoying a night of fun, but it’s a lot of work answering the door all night. I planned on keeping a warm cocktail at hand to fend off the goose bumps.

There is one house that the children and dads usually avoid. It is owned by a Doctor Wooters. He isn’t your run of the mill doctor that makes house calls for sick family members. He is the doctor that the county calls out to death scenes. His house calls are for the dead. The thought of it was a little too weird for most of the neighborhood. His name was regularly in the paper in regard to the story for a local death. None of us looked forward to using his professional services. The old doctor looked the part – sallow eyes, a little hunched over, balding head, and a larger than normal doctor’s bag. God knows what was inside of that thing. He drove a black car, lived alone, and tended to a little plot of vegetables in his backyard when not working. Spooky.

I was trying not to get too involved with the competition over the costumes. I don’t sew well enough to create an extravagant outfit for one night of fun. I did see Gail at the fabric store purchasing yards and yards of furry material when I stopped in for some satin for Daisy’s cape. Gail admitted that she was making bear costumes for her cubs and the project was taking up all of her waking hours. I told her that I couldn’t wait to see her little bears and left with my half yard of satin. Maybe I wasn’t living up to the increased expectations that were building in my circle of friends, but I was sure that it wouldn’t place a lifelong stigma on my children. I doubted that they would even remember dressing up when they got older. I really couldn’t talk my theory over with Mags. Since she didn’t have any children, she never engaged in kiddie competitions. I knew that Steve would never understand this kind of competitive spirit among a group of mommies. The next week might be a thoughtful week for me as we get ready for the big night.

Fall for Me

With the children back in school, the card parties have started back up. I like to volunteer for the hosting in October. Fall always brings on the urge to bake and I was contemplating making a great spread of comfortable favorites. The children and Steve loved my baked Italian casseroles. Steve had come home from Europe with some new interests in Italian food and I tried every new recipe that caught my eye in my magazines. A casserole might seem a little heavy for the afternoon but if paired with the right alcohol might be just the thing to serve.

I’d started my own little compilation of recipes in a binder for safekeeping. The ones with the most stains were the favorites. After reading a magazine, I carefully cut out the recipes that I wanted to try, bought the ingredients and took a quiet afternoon creating a new dish. I have begun to really like cooking although I will never get used to hearing “what’s for dinner” from everyone as soon as they enter the house. I wonder if other mothers disdain that phrase as much as I do and have thought up the same clever replies that I hear in my head. That might be a great discussion point for the card party. I know some of my girlfriends would never own up to not loving their lives in the suburbs but every moment is not as wonderful as the movies make it out to be. Or maybe it’s just me.

I have been thinking lately that maybe I should start writing down some of my thoughts. Not that I could ever be a writer or anything like that, but it might be good to get some of these dark thoughts out of me. Maybe I could balance my good thoughts on cooking with my less than bright thoughts about living in this glass bowl known as the suburbs. This will put a whole new meaning to creative cooking.