Finding Hope . . . In the Candy Aisle
It's Friday, and once again, this week I've been . . .
"Strange as it may seem, I still hope for the best, even though the best, like an interesting piece of mail, so rarely arrives, and even when it does it can be lost so easily."
--- Lemony Snicket
I recently found hope in a rather strange place . . .
At my local Walgreens, when I picked up some Halloween candy after getting my flu shot last week.
Maybe I was still thinking about all the great Halloween stories you shared during my Asking Questions week a couple of weeks ago. Or maybe it was just picking up some candy for my neighborhood trick-or-treaters. But I started thinking about . . . Snickers bars.
When I was a kid, trick-or-treating was a Very Big Deal. I lived in a 1960s newly-built neighborhood of tract homes . . . street after street of nearly identical little ranch houses with a maple tree in the front yard, and sidewalks for miles. We hit the area hard on Halloween, which was easy because the houses were packed in pretty tightly and we could cover a lot of ground in a short period of time. Trick-or-treat candy back then was . . . well. It was not what it is today, that's for sure! Mostly, we got little packets of black and orange jelly beans or candy corn, circus peanuts, Smartees, and Dum-Dum suckers. There were a lot of little boxes of Mike-and-Ike or Good-N-Plenty candies, too, which I hated. And scads of stale peanut butter taffy wrapped in orange or black wrappers, which I also hated. A Big Score in your trick-or-treat bag back then . . . was anything chocolate. Little Hershey bars, Whoppers, Tootsie Rolls, or Tootsie Roll Pops. (Miniature candy bars like Snickers and Reeses and Almond Joy . . . hadn't been "invented" yet.)
So . . . even though the chances of bringing home "good treats" in our trick-or-treat bags was slim (at least in my neighborhood), we all still headed out with the Highest of Hopes. Because . . . you never know! (And besides, ANY free candy was better than NO free candy.)
Which got me thinking about . . . slivers of hope.
Those little things that may - or may not - happen, but we keep trying anyway.
Things like . . . going to the mailbox every day, hoping for "good mail."
Or stopping by T.J. Maxx to see if they have any random pieces of Spode in their housewares section.
Or finding a Snickers bar in your Halloween trick-or-treat bag!
Slivers of hope. . .
Keep looking. And hold on if you find one!
(Except if it's a Snickers bar. Then . . . enjoy every bite!)
Happy Halloween, everyone.
I'll see you on Monday . . . when it will be . . . NOVEMBER!
I remember getting the occasional homemade popcorn ball or caramel apple, not something you could give out these days.
Posted by: Shirley | 10/29/2021 at 09:55 AM
I got a lot of those same treats but also the miniature chocolate bars and peanut butter cups. Let's just say, with the power outage the last couple of days, I'm glad we hadn't bought our Halloween candy yet because I'm pretty sure I would have eaten ALL of it!
Posted by: Carole | 10/29/2021 at 10:04 AM
Can you believe it? NOVEMBER already????
I guess I was lucky as a kid. Several of our neighbors gave out full size bars of chocolate --- usually Hershey's or if I was really lucky a Chunky! Some gave out those less valuable candies like circus peanuts, MaryJanes, or those weird orange and black wrapped "things". Some threw in some coins or heaven forbid ...............an apple! Really! AN APPLE! I can get an apple at home. LOL
Posted by: Dee | 10/29/2021 at 10:48 AM
Oh, I just love this, Kym. Everything about it.
But that awful peanut butter taffy wrapped in the black and orange paper....! I'd totally forgotten about it, but, boy, that came back instantly here. (I hated it, too--who didn't? And was it EVER fresh? Same with Mary Janes. I never had one I could actually chew....) Which reminds me--I better go buy Halloween candy.
Posted by: Carolyn | 10/29/2021 at 10:48 AM
Ugh, candy corn and circus peanuts! But I do find hope in "good mail" (yesterday it was a Webs catalog and a dividend check!) and I still remember the nice lady down the street that gave my sister and I full-size candy bars back in the 60s. May you find plenty of hopeful Snickers (real and metaphorical) this weekend!
Posted by: Bonny | 10/29/2021 at 11:03 AM
I remember going "trick or treating" at my nana's house. She had just made cookies, still a bit warm and when I trekked upstairs to see grandpa... he would have a lovely silver dollar. Not quite candy, but I really appreciate those silver dollar coins today! (but those warm cookies... oh man, the best!)
Posted by: kat | 10/29/2021 at 11:20 AM
I feel like Snickers are getting rarer these days because there are so many kids with peanut allergies. I always seemed to end up with the Mounds and Almond Joys, and I hated coconut, so I never wanted them (give me all the peanut butter!). I don't think kiddo is planning to trick-or-treat this year, so we bought candy to give out (yeah, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!) and made sure to get kinds that we like. I bought a bag of the new brownie Snickers to try, and I'll be sure to think of you when I give it a taste!
Posted by: Sarah | 10/29/2021 at 01:04 PM
I never went trick-or-treating. First, we lived in the country, and second, the powers that be had banned it in town, sponsoring a costume parade and a party at the school. So my first experience with t-or-t was when my kids did it. They would each come home with a plastic bucket, roughly the size of a 5-quart ice cream pail, and it would be nearly full of candy. After they ate a little bit of it, the pail went into the cupboard over the fridge, and we would dole it out as dessert after dinner -- for weeks. Also, I confiscated all the mini Snickers because they were my favorite. Kiddos had not problem with that -- amazing!
Posted by: kmkat | 10/31/2021 at 05:01 PM
We had the same back then but it was still fun coming home and dumping out all that loot.
Posted by: Chloe | 11/01/2021 at 06:57 AM
The kids didn't have a single black- or orange-wrapped peanut taffy in their bags of loot yesterday... I actually really liked those when I was a kid, but only if they were FRESH!
Posted by: Vicki | 11/01/2021 at 10:21 AM
I'm going to lean into your advice to find slivers of hope. If hope comes in the candy aisle, I'm all for it. I didn't like much of the candy I received either but there were a few people on our route that handed out full size Hershey bars. When my kids went trick or treating, they hit a gentleman who worked for Weaver's Potato Chips, a local company that sold chips. He gave out small bags of chips and my kids thought those were fun. They also had plenty of candy. Several years we made posters with bar graphs showing the amounts of different miniature candy bars.
Posted by: Jane | 11/03/2021 at 07:40 PM