It was almost unthinkable. The kids had their costumes and the families were stocked with candy. The lawns and the houses were decorated with ghosts, gravestones, skeletons and fake spider webs. And yet, we had no Halloween.
Towns across northern and central Connecticut became ghostly in a literal way two days after a rare snowstorm pummeled the East Coast on Oct. 29, sending giant tree limbs and whole trees crashing to the ground, pulling the webs of power lines with them.
On Halloween Day, when the only power came via generators or in small pockets of commercial business, it was just too dangerous to have small children wandering around in the pitch dark, stepping over wires and branches. In many towns, officials recommended a postponement of trick-or-treating, and in some of those towns, it simply never happened as the power outages went on and on.
Canceling Halloween seems like the plot to a tired old Claymation special. Every other holiday happens no matter what, but Halloween is so intertwined with trick-or-treaing, which more or less has to take place outside if you want more than a few pieces of bubblegum in your pillowcase.
In our neighborhood, the trick-or-treating begins around 6 p.m., when the toddlers and their parents ring doorbells and gather up a few treats before it gets dark.
As the night goes on, the trick-or-treaters get taller and more bold. Their costume ingenuity seems to peak at about 8 or 10 years old, and then it grows progressively more simple, until you get the older teenagers with smudges around their eyes who just can't give up the idea that you'll get free candy just for ringing a doorbell.
For the most part, they are all polite, yet almost giddy as they run around on a cool fall night as Spiderman or Cinderella or Harry Potter with his Nimbus 2000. Halloween is the stuff of childhood — when the reins loosen just enough to thin the veil between reality and magic.
Yet here we are, almost incredibly, facing another powerful storm that could down trees and power lines just before Halloween. Could we airdrop the candy instead? Let the children gather in a safe, dry place in their costumes and put the candy behind fake doors?
Those years go by so fast, and there aren't enough opportunities for children to get close to the magic any more. I'd rather not think about how "Frankenstorm" would behave, but Sandy sounds like a mom's name, so let's hope she understands that kids need Halloween. Let's hope she doesn't want them to miss it again.