The year after I graduated from college, J and I lived in a big house* with several of our friends. In some ways, that was the best place I've ever lived. There was always something going on, or someone to talk to, or something to do, or something to eat** but we had enough space that we could always get away, too. It was a great, grand old house with tons of character, on a street adjacent to an urban center that is still in the process of gentrification.
For Halloween, we cut paper to make the upper windows glow like eyes, and I spent hours carving pumpkins and foam gravestones and arranging lights and cobwebs on the grand front porch. And then some stupid teenagers came by the house in broad daylight, days before Halloween, and smashed all of our decorations. I was home, and I came down and shouted at them, and filed a police report, and lurked near the windows for days after, scanning the neighborhood for them. They lived just around the corner someplace, I think.
But still, that Halloween was magical. It was a great house for a party, and our many overlapping groups of friends came in costume and we decorated inside and greeted the kids that came trick-or-treating. Harry Potter costumes were big that year, I remember.
I love Halloween - magic and mystery and fall all rolled into one. But since I don't like to carve my pumpkins too early anymore, I rushed to finish the pumpkin I'd planned for weeks during dinner, before we took our little Ladybug and Pumpkin trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. (Pumpkin picture to come, just as soon as J gets the pictures off the camera.)
* That house is currently on the market, and even though we now live about 3000 miles away and those kids probably still live there, I want it I want it I want it. Plus they still have the curtains I picked for the living room.
** One roommate worked at Whole Foods, and regularly brought home bread and sushi at the end of the day. Mmmm, free sushi.