Ghosts and goblins, dogs and memories

Diane Mack
Family Matters

It’s Halloween and time for costumes and candy. As a grandma, I’m fond of trick-or-treaters.  

A couple of the granddaughters are dressing like Cruella, a Dalmatian and a witch. 

Diane Mack

When I was a young mom, I enjoyed the holiday, though I am kind of sad because I have no little ones left at home. I had so much fun dressing the kids. 

Halloween night brought lots of neighbor kids with plastic pumpkins and screams of “twick or tweat!” 

My kids loved it. After a night in the neighborhood, the kids would return home very happy. They’d pour their candy onto the floor and count their collection. It was the same, year after year. 

Most Halloween nights, I’d let the kids play with their candy and watch TV. Then I’d shoe them off to the bath. I only ever allowed them have two pieces of candy before bed. 

Well, I need to confess.  

After I put the kids to bed, and as soon as they were asleep, I’d dig through their bags of candy.  

Yes, I’d help myself to their stash. I wonder if they ever knew. 

I agree with L.M. Montgomery who stated, "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." 

Oh well, for the past 40 years, I have dressed seven children in assorted costumes.  

I’ve had a dozen Supermen, princesses and Big Macs. I’ve also clothed a few cave men and animals.  

I’ve been reminiscing about the past, so I decided to pull the Halloween tubs out of the garage. The tubs were covered with cobwebs. Inside, I found several wigs. One wig matched a Lois Lane outfit. and three matched clown costumes.  

I also found karate clothes and football uniforms of different sizes. The boys liked dressing as football stars. We had a couple of Dallas Cowboys uniforms, because we were fans of the Cowboys.  

We got that from living in Arizona when they were young. And that is exactly why we have a dog named Dallas.  

Anyway, I can remember one particular Halloween night, about 30 years ago. It was time to eat dinner and then dress the kids in their costumes.  

The boys were upstairs trying on Halloween attire. Because they were older and bigger, they learned quickly that no one could fit into the Dallas Cowboys’ costumes.  

I heard banging and then, laughing. It sounded like the boys were coming through the kitchen ceiling. I didn’t know what those boys were up to, but they were having fun. 

Anyway, it was time to eat, so I called the boys to dinner. They didn’t respond.  

So I called them again ... and lo and behold, the dog Dallas came running.  

I was stirring the mac and cheese on the stove. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Dallas run by. He was dressed in a Dallas Cowboys’ costume, from head to paw. The poor dog had on a helmet, pads, uniform and wristbands!  

Have you ever seen a dog in a football uniform? I laughed and then pretended I didn’t know who he was.  

While tossing Dallas a macaroni, I winked at him and asked, “Who are you dressed as, little puppy?” 

I think that is what we’re supposed to do. As parents and grandparents, we are to act like we’ve never met them before. 

Speaking of grand-mothering, I believe Erma Bombeck said it best about Halloween: 

A grandmother pretends she doesn't know who you are on Halloween.  

Friends, have a great one! 

Diane Mack is coordinator of Putting Families First, Jackson County's Family Week Foundation. Email her at