On Neff Road: Treat-and-Treat


The candy makers are anticipating a great Halloween night that will have kids dragging home bags full of their goodies. Dentists cringe at the thought. Parents try to recycle the gathered candy as fast as they can once the child gets home. Yep, its that time of year again.

I always had a bit of a problem with this idea of Trick-or-Treat. The treat is nice if you get one. If you don’t, why would you want to hurt someone else? Seems to be a bit of bullying tied to this old fashioned idea. I rather like the idea of handing out little books or tooth brushes. Perhaps we could just hand out good advice when the ghosts and goblins show up. Many of those old traditions and way of thinking really should be updated to reflect kindness and goodwill.

Well, what do I know? Mom felt that begging for candy was wrong. “We don’t beg,” Hmm. Hadn’t thought about that in years. It was begging. And, if you didn’t hand over a treat, a cow might be tipped or corn shocks knocked over. You might get egged or have your pumpkins smashed. Why, why, why?

Then there are those kids who are entirely too old to go door to door and should know better. One year I even had a woman show up with a bag! And, they go to neighborhoods where they can get the biggest haul. My kids, and now my grandchildren, only visited their own neighborhood. Who needs that much candy?!?

I guess I sound like a Halloween curmudgeon, but truly, I don’t get it. Give me a great ghost story and maybe a few ghosts, and I am in the spirit. Jack-o’-lanterns winking on the front steps and scary ghosts sounds coming from a hidden speaker. Kids parading their costumes followed by smiling parents…and grandparents. Feeling that pride when they say “thank you” after they receive their candy. Watching neighbors who have watched them grow, beam when they open the door to their smiling faces. That is what I love about Halloween.

I handed out candy last year. I ran out and had no other option but to turn off the lights and sit in the dark. For at least 30 minutes, kids came up and still knocked. Some even yelled angry words. Those were the older kids who should have stayed home. I sat in the dark as if I had done a criminal act by not handing out more candy. I hoped to blend into the shadows so no one would notice that I sat there holding an empty bucket.

Perhaps Halloween should be a day of treating. Treating others with kind words and deeds. It could be called “Treat-and-Treat.” Good deeds deserving a few sweets. Candy makers might be a little put off by the idea. Dentists would love it. And, best of all, I wouldn’t need to sit in the dark with my empty bucket.

Happy Halloween, my friends. Be safe out there.


By Pamela Loxley Drake

On Neff Road

Pamela Loxley Drake is a former resident of Darke County and is the author of Neff Road and A Grandparent Voice blog. She can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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