It’s not supposed to snow on Halloween this year.
It generally doesn’t snow on Halloween, if my memory isn’t deceiving me, and if there’s snow on the ground, it’s usually not a lot.
But I think everyone my age remembers when it did snow on the Best Kid Holiday, the year it snowed, and snowed, and kept snowing until we thought it was never going to stop.
It gives us a story we’ll be telling kids all our lives on Halloween, and it has the virtue of being much scarier than ghouls and ghosts, though I didn’t find out about the scary parts until I was older. That storm killed 22 people and wreaked absolute havoc on the Midwest, but at the time, it was just another Halloween.
Hey, kid. You think you have it tough, having to walk all over town to get candy on Halloween? Guess what. I trick-or-treated during the Great Halloween Blizzard of 1991.
I can’t remember anymore what costume I wore that year, but it didn’t make any difference, because in 1991, pretty much everyone wore the same costume: a sweater, heavy pants, a heavy coat, boots, scarf, mittens and a hat. A little fringe of the real costume generally stuck out somewhere, though.
Every year you dress up to trick-or-treat, some adult will ask you what you’re supposed to be, even when it’s completely obvious. In 1991, it wasn’t obvious, and every kid in the state wore pretty much the same costume, no matter what they were supposed to be.
We all went as Minnesotans that year.
My family lived a little way out of town, so we’d always hang out with another family for Halloween. The moms would stay in the house in town, and hand out candy. The dads would herd both families’ kids into the van and follow us around while we went trick-or-treating, watching out for us from the street.
I don’t think we stayed out long that year, but I can’t really remember much about it. I can’t remember much about trick-or-treating in general, because it was always one big blur to me.
Literally a blur. I had glasses by first grade, so Halloween was always the same. I left the house, and my glasses would fog up. I got into the van and my glasses would fog up. Then I got out and my glasses would fog up, and I’d be invited into the house and my glasses would fog up, and then I’d leave and my glasses would fog up… well, you get the picture.
It’s a white, foggy picture.
I remember stumbling blindly over snowdrifts with my friends guiding me and making sure I didn’t walk off a cliff. Fortunately Minnesota, while long on nasty weather, is remarkably short on cliffs.
It was cold, too. My nose ran. I ran. Everyone else ran too, darting from house to house and grateful to anyone who let us into the entryway, with the dads watching carefully from the street.
We took home a great candy haul that year, even though I’m pretty sure we went home early as the snow worsened and developed into a full-blown blizzard as night descended. Probably all the adults realized they were going to be stuck with all their candy if they didn’t give out multiple pieces to the few children who were braving the weather.
Yeah, that was the Halloween Blizzard of 1991, which I spent stumbling around in the snow with my friends, giggling and thanking adults for plying us with delicious, nutritionally worthless sugar products.