On the Other Side of the Woods 9:26 AM

Her Skirts swished against the orange and yellow carpet of leaves that covered the path.  She held my hand tightly in one of hers while carrying the lantern in her other.  Excitedly, she whispered her anticipation of what we would find on the other side of the woods; on the other side of the darkness. 
That is where we found Halloween!
The neighborhood that lies between ours and the school is older and established.  The houses are not overbearing or grandiose.  They are well built, well loved homes.  It is through this neighborhood and on these sidewalks that we walk to school.  Throughout October, the Lass has taken note of the Halloween decorations as they have appeared.  She has excitedly pointed out ghosts, tombstones, cats, and pumpkins on our morning journeys.  Thus, when Halloween arrived, she was ready to go.  She knew which houses we would visit, where we would stop, and all the Halloween details she wanted to see. 
And we did visit all the houses she wanted... and several more.  
After ditching the neighborhood gang, we set out on our own where we found Halloween in full swing.  
She dashed from house to house, the stars on her princess costume shimmering in the light cast by the trick-or-treat friendly houses.  She was in her element.  While I stood on the sidewalk, she knocked on doors, checked out haunted beings, and delighted in the sights and sounds of the evening.  
I did my own observing.
More dads go on trick-or-treating ventures than do moms.
Dads carry liquid refreshments with them as they bring up the end of their group of kids.
Kids of all ages are dressed in costumes.
Young girls are loud when in a group with their friends.
This is a neighborhood in which I would like to live.  
The Lass wanted to stop (originally) at the house with the hand.  This was our objective.  But, once we arrived... the night was warm, there were lots of people out, so we continued to our friend Portia's house.  And then we heard it... the spooky sounds coming from a house around the corner near the school.  
I figured she would want to go but, originally she didn't.  
Then she changed her mind.  
I think that was the best part of the evening... the fog machine, the sounds, the witches, the creativity... the Lass loved it all.  
Hand-in-hand we ventured back through the woods, back toward the warmth of our home and our cats, and away from the magic evening.  We arrived home to check out the candy, determine what we would keep, form a pile to send to Iraq, and get ready for bed.  
"I am rich with candy!"  
That she is - a full shopping bag full of candy, about .75 of which is the "good stuff."
Doodles immediately made herself comfortable on the bag, suggesting that she would either guard the candy or that it was now hers, we aren't sure.  
Despite the large amount of candy, I think that the Lass was rich with the experience of the evening.  She had an adventure that only happens once a year - and she wondered at the creativity that can create a little bit more magic than the evening previously held.  
Beyond the woods, through the dark, we found a magical Halloween... one I am sure we will visit again next year.