Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hobo Memories

   Throughout my childhood, Mom was incredibly resourceful. She crafted celebrations from only construction paper and glue. She filled our table with healthy meals, often from leftovers. She kept five children in good clothing every season. Her resourcefulness also applied to Halloween costumes. I cannot remember shopping for costumes, although plenty of my friends did. But I never felt deprived. For us, building your look out of almost nothing was half the fun! Scavenging through the house for raw materials was a happy ritual.

   One year’s costume stands out in history. I was attending a sixth grade Haloween party with classmates.  Mom conspired with me to exact something wonderful, exploring options like punk rocker (my fave for many confusing years), vampire (the traditional kind, because I hadn’t seen The Lost Boys yet, much less Twilight or anything from Anne Rice), and Carmen Miranda.  For that last option, Mom even let me stuff my dress with rolled up bobby socks, but we laughingly agreed Dad would object. My fake sock boobs were removed. 

   Anwyay, as great ideas often happen, we arrived at my eventual incarnation quite by accident. We were sifting through the accumulation of clothes pieces and possible accessories, piling onto my twelve year old self lots of crazy, unrelated things. I remember Mom joking that I looked like a hobo. Eureka. Her face lit up and she dug until she found a pan of brown eyeshadow.

   Mom smeared my face with the shimmery stuff so it looked like I had a five o’clock shadow. She slid a stocking cap over my blonde hair and added who knows how many more unmatched garments to my frame.  After some frenzied moments of adjusting and editing, she stood back and said, “What do you think?” 

   I was already happy from being the object of her undivided attention and bottomless creativity. So to see that I was also transformed into a completely unrecognizable hobo was bliss. Mom found a long stick from outside and tied to it a piece of cloth stuffed with something bulky, denoting the classic hobo carrying satchel.  Costume complete.

   The pleaseure of being so well costumed would have been enough, but later at the party, I heard people asking, “Have you seen Marie yet?  She’s not here!” They didn’t even recognize me, I was so hoboish. 

   Well done, Mom. And thank you for the creativity and memories. Happy Halloween!


  1. Hi, I came over from Pioneer Woman. I'm trying my best to visit a new blog every day for awhile, and today you're my new visit! Your story of becoming a hobo brought back lots of memories. I was a hobo on Halloween more than once but never with the perfection it sounds like your mom created. Good memories!

  2. Tucking away the idea of a hobo for future Halloweens...

    I think part of the fun of Halloween is making costumes, though I can't sew. But I do buy sometimes, and then try to make something to go with them.

  3. What a wonderful mother you had! I love that you laughed together and conspired together! I could see the two of you plotting and creating. I really enjoyed this memory of yours.

  4. Very nice! How wonderful to have such great memories! :)

  5. I was also a hobo one year! There is something so special about being transformed, especially with special attention from our mothers.

    My daughter is having a tough time understanding that a "real" costume doesn't have to come from a package at the party store. On the other hand, I'm not creative at all, so maybe it's better off that way!

  6. What a wonderful memory to have of your mother. When I grew up, Halloween wasn't yet celebrated in Sweden, but we dressed up as witches and went looking for treats in the spring instead (can't remember exactly when, think it's for Whitsun). My mum did the same kind of thing then. I have to see if I can dig up a picture somewhere.

  7. The heart of this is the moment shared between mother and daughter. We all crave one-on-one attention, and I'm so glad you were able to convey that moment with us.

  8. Thank you for visiting my blog! I am glad I stopped by for a visit to yours!

    I enjoyed reading about you and your Mom. That is really great how you concocted a costume, and that no one even recognized you. You did a great job of sharing your moment with us!


Hey thanks for commenting! I love hearing from people. It's the best. I have recently added word verification, a necessary annoyance. Have a wonderful day!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...