The coming darkness of winter, grief for my black cat Spook (who died of liver failure last week), and the barbarity of the Taliban shooting a 14-year-old Pakistani girl have been weighing me down. Halloween’s playful excess feels like a wonderful reprieve. So I’m consciously turning away from gloom and back toward the lightness of being silly. In that spirit, here are some highlights from Halloweens present and past:

1. Helping a friend plan her Binder Full of Women costume this year

2. Our neighbor’s yard full of ghouls

3. Remembering when the nuns of my Catholic grade school required us to dress up as saints for the school party—I was St. Helen by day and a Fairy Princess by night




4. A friend’s Halloween wedding reception with guest appearances by Queen Elizabeth I, a live wedding cakes and a three-legged man



5. My youngest son as a New York lawyer (his idea of scary)









6. My oldest as a polar bear during the 1991 Halloween blizzard. At 2 ½ years old, he thought getting candy from three houses was great.

7. And there’s always eating a Reese’s cup (the big kind), a Kit-Kat bar and some peanut M&Ms.

Dressing up and eating candy—what could be better?