a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.


< by Jill >

I grew up in the halcyon days of trick-or-treating; the days when children graciously accepted candy from strangers and — hey, why not! — took spins in their conversion vans.

There were no razors hidden in taffy, no onions dipped in caramel masquerading as candy apples. But there were dentists who handed out apples (professional obligation) and hippies who handed out pomegranates (avant garde for the 1990s).

The hippies lived at the end of our cul-de-sac in a wooden house that hunkered into a hillside. To reach the front door, you had to scale about 20 weatherworn stairs and/or follow the scent of patchouli. Darlene, the Mrs., always answered the door.

“GIRLS!” she’d say, arms stretched wide. After crumpling us in a big hug, she’d step back, raise a brow and guess our costumes.

“Doctor?” Yep. “Flapper?” Uh-huh.

Then, she’d bow toward the corner of the foyer, reach into a cauldron (I kid you not), and retrieve two ruby pomegranates.

“And here you go!”

We’d plop them into our pillowcases, sheepishly say “thanks,” and scuttle down the stairs.

From there, we’d hit house after house, returning home only when our arms turned to noodles under the weight of candy. Yet, when I look back at Halloween, it’s not the king-size Caramellos or Gobstoppers that I remember. It’s Darlene and the pomegranates.

English: Close-up of Pomegranates on a table.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


  Ann wrote @

I love that you found Darlene’s picture. It perfectly fits my memories of her!

  Larry Who wrote @

Hippies in Minnesota? Interesting thought, but then again, Bobby Zimmerman was from Duluth.

  Jorie wrote @

This reminds me of the teacher who lived near me that handed out pocket-size dictionaries. I hated it at the time, but I’d love one of those bad boys now 🙂 Great story, Jill!

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