I have been away for a couple of days. It was my first trip to town on the Big Island in over a month. We were down to our last 20 pound tank of propane gas, which we use to operate the kitchen stove, so it really was time to do a town trip.
The trip to town for stocking up on fuel and provisions is a much loathed ordeal, and is fodder for a proper, longer story. Today I was not planning to write about town trips so I shall save that for another time.
I wanted to mention another, much nicer story, before any more time passed and the subject became totally irrelevant; while it was still fresh in my mind.
At the beginning of this week it was Halloween, the first dry day in about a month as luck would have it. Halloween is a much celebrated occasion in neighbourhoods across the country and beyond. When we were kids we used to love getting dressed up in funny costumes. We used to go out just before dark and parade around the streets, knocking on neighbour’s doors and calling out trick or treat, holding out the inevitable old pillow cases, begging for sweet surprises.
Out on the islands the kids like to get dressed up too, but it is much trickier to get out and about in search of the treats. There are no roads with houses on our island, though one or two of the neighbouring islands do have a single road with a few homes dotted along them. There are very few neighbours at all. Perhaps a dozen people in total live on this island, although there are a few more on the surrounding islands. Because most of the houses on these small islands are along the shore, a lot of our visiting is done by boat.
A great treat was in store for C. and I on Halloween afternoon when a couple of neighbouring families showed up, by boat, children and adults alike dressed up in their Halloween costumes. I had been given a hint, so was somewhat prepared with a bowl of freshly baked cookies, and some little cups full of (guess what!) – dried fruit and nuts! I knew all those dried apples and pears would be useful for something.
There were a couple of pirates, a Ninja or two and a guy that looked like a bit of a gambler. There was an Indian princess with a fluffy yellow duckling in her arms. Pippy Longstocking led the way with her hair in two braids, followed by the Crazy Cook that was planning to make a meal of the little duckling! And the scariest of all, was a black-cloaked, faceless dude with a fabulously feathered head dress. Was he an eagle, a raven, the Prince of Doom?! Whoever he was, he drove the boat and posed for his picture, just like all the rest.
They all came into the kitchen for a little while where they ate some cookies and had a visit. Then off they went by boat, into the late afternoon sunset, to the next island for more tricks and treats at the other half dozen homes over there.