The many ways to celebrate Halloween

Two-thirds of the next generation of Feldners got their introduction to Halloween — their grandmother’s favorite holiday — with varying degrees of enthusiasm this year.

Aiden and Nolan got to go trick-or-treating for the first time this year. In fact, all three of the grandsons covered the little village where Ethan and his family live from one end to the other — it’s a pretty small little village, so we’re not talking an all-night excursion here — Saturday night.

They were led by the old hand of the next generation, Ty, who’s been through this routine several times before. In fact, Ty’s a many times over veteran trick-or-treater, since his hometown does its trick-or-treating on a different night every year than does his grandparents’ hometown and he has taken in both every year he’s been able to.

He’s such an accomplished pro, he had two different Halloween costumes — a soldier when he came to his grandparents’ neighborhood and a Transformer for his home turf. I think his father, who is a soldier and is still a Transformers fan, may have influenced those choices, but I can’t be sure.

A friend of ours who was visiting that Sunday made the mistake of asking Ty if he was G.I. Joe. Ty’s reply was, “I’m not G.I. Joe, I’m Ty!” At least our grandson doesn’t suffer from an identity crisis.

Nolan, meanwhile, had another one of the truths of being a little brother reinforced as he wore the same bumblebee costume that Ty wore for his first Halloween.

It’s not the first hand-me-down that Nolan’s had to put up with and it certainly won’t be the last.

For instance, we went out to lunch with Ethan, Sharon, Ty and Nolan earlier Saturday to celebrate their grandmother’s birthday — which falls during the last week of October and is why Halloween has always been her favorite holiday — and Nolan had on a Penn State outfit that Ethan got for Ty when he was younger.

Why Penn State, you might ask — I know I did. For some reason, Ethan decided early in life that Penn State was his favorite college football team and he has tried to foist that off on his offspring as well.

Having two older brothers of my own, I can empathize greatly with Nolan. His hand-me-downs have only been through one brother, whereas when I was his age mine had to go through two older brothers. I do have a younger brother, so at least I didn’t have it that bad that I had to contend with fourth time around, although third was bad enough.

Ty showed his new little brother the ropes when they came here to trick-or-treat first, but Aiden was home with his parents across the state that weekend and missed out on the tips from the older veteran.

Instead, Aiden came over here Saturday with his dad and went along with Ty and Nolan as they made the rounds in their hometown.

That’s why Nolan went along gladly but Aiden had to be coaxed into venturing up the first sidewalk and to the first door. The shot we have of the three of them together before they started off has Ty chomping at the bit to get going, Nolan rather non-committal about the whole idea and Aiden with a mixed look of terror and puzzlement over what this was all about.

Alex had to just about carry Aiden up to the first door and, even when he found out that the person behind the door putting candy in his bucket was his reward for the venture, he still wasn’t entirely convinced that the whole thing wasn’t on the up and up.

Aiden never really warmed up to the whole trick-or-treating thing and Alex finally had to get a wagon to haul Aiden around in rather than drag him reluctantly up and down the streets.

I have no doubt, though, that it won’t be long at all before Aiden will want to take the wagon along to haul all the goodies he’ll want to try and collect. He’s got a strong family legacy that makes that likely.

As I said, Halloween is his grandmother’s favorite holiday. In fact, she still dresses up fro the day every year.

She’s given up trying to get me to do the same, although I tried to tell her I couldn’t find any costumes anywhere that were scarier than me just being myself. The sad thing is, she agreed with me.

She even does her own form of trick-or-treating, what she calls adult trick-or-treating. She sets up the bar and goes from door-to-door in the neighborhood, taking drink orders and delivering them.

It’s easy to see why, unlike her middle grandson, she was all smiles about this Halloween thing.

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