Our First Halloween in the U.S.

I remember very vividly the first year after I moved to the U.S.; both the changing foliage of the autumn season and the concept of Halloween were foreign to me.

Beautiful tree changing foliage in the fall.

My family and I moved to U.S. in the 90’s as I began my teenage years. We moved to a small, rural Midwest town in Illinois. Every autumn, shortly after the start of a new school year, the leaves would change various shades of yellow, orange, red, purple, and brown. The humid summer air would start turning cool and crisp, announcing the transition to autumn.

Autumn also reminded me of coming home from school and looking forward to watching the Simpsons. After The Simpsons there was Roseanne, and then Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in that order. My Mom would have dinner ready right after The Simpsons. Watching The Simpsons always reminded me of Mexico as this was my favorite show before we moved to the states. Of course, back in Mexico I used to watch it in Spanish.

The first new friends we made there were another Mexican family who, like us, migrated to the U.S. from Mexico. This family had three sons and had lived here in the states for a while. We spent our first Halloween in the U.S. with them. One of their sons spoke to me in English, but because I barely knew the language, I only answered in short sentences.

I remember they wore spooky masks and carried pillow cases to collect candy that night. My sisters and I didn’t go trick-or-treating with them because we didn’t quite understand what it was. It seemed fun: seeing all the kids knocking on doors, asking for candy, as they yelled, “Trick or treat!”

Kids knocking on doors, asking for candy, as they yelled, “Trick or treat!”
Kids knocking on doors, asking for candy, as they yelled, “Trick or treat!”

We didn’t give away any candy that first year either, because, as I mentioned, we were not ready for or really understood what Halloween was all about. I felt very intrigued by the whole thing, especially after seeing how much fun our new friends had trick-or-treating.

After that unforgettable, first Halloween, my sisters and I started participating on the Halloween festivities. Most of my fondest memories growing up in the U.S. take place in the fall; with many of them revolving around Halloween. Every fall became a memorable moment in my mind, as I navigated through the difficult experiences of moving to another country and learning a new language, a new culture, and a new place to call home.

Now that I am older and a Mom, fall has become one of my favorite seasons of the year. It wasn’t until this year that I began wondering why this season was one of my favorites. Perhaps because it reminds me of those first years in the U.S. Those memories became so impressed and vivid in my mind partly because of the newness of it all, but also, I believe, because back then I felt anxious every time I started a new school year. Beginning a new school year in a foreign country while learning a new language will make most kids feel that way. Perhaps the new weather, which was so different from my native Mexico, was something I became fond of. And perhaps autumn reminds me of the good times I had with my family when we first moved to the U.S.

Changing tree leaves turn into red hues.
Changing tree leaves turn into red hues.

Living in the East Coast now as an adult and a parent, I now look forward to seeing the humid, stuffy summer heat turn into a nice, cool and crisp air, as the changing tree leaves turn into red, gold, and brown hues. I love going to pumpkin patches, buying everything that’s made with pumpkin, and going to see the changing foliage around the landscapes.

Fall will always remind me of my first years in the U.S., cool and crisp evenings while walking home from school, Halloween nights watching funny horror shows, and fond memories of my family together in our new home.

The pictures here are a collection from one of our first Halloween nights in the U.S. and the other ones from a previous visit to a Pumpkin Patch.

Bright orange pumpkins at a pumpkin patch.
Bright orange pumpkins at a pumpkin patch.
A Witch and her Cauldron display at a Pumpkin Patch.
A Witch and her Cauldron display at a Pumpkin Patch.
Pumpkins Patches are part of Halloween festivals in the U.S.
Pumpkins Patches are part of Halloween festivals in the U.S.
Halloween brings fond memories of my sisters and I growing up in the U.S.
Halloween brings fond memories of my sisters and I growing up in the U.S.
Different types of pumpkin varieties at a Pumpkin Patch.
Different types of pumpkin varieties at a Pumpkin Patch.
A Halloween display at a Pumpkin Patch in the U.S.
A Halloween display at a Pumpkin Patch in the U.S.
Corn Stalks and Pumpkins what Halloween is all about.
Corn Stalks and Pumpkins what Halloween is all about.

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Our First Halloween in the U.S.

  1. What a great connection to Halloween! Loved reading your story. What brought you to Illinois? Just curious as the U.S. is so large, so many potential places to live. I love knowing why people choose a particular place or how they end up where they do. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog Kelly! My stepdad was already established in Illinois and this is where his brothers and sisters lived, that’s the reason why we moved there. Like many Hispanic/Latino families who migrate to this country, they tend to move to a place where they already know someone like a friend or family member who is already established in that area. I didn’t really like it there when I was a teenager, but now that I’m older I miss some things about Illinois. I currently live in Virginia 😊

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      1. Cool! Makes sense to settle where you have family already established, and then blossom from there. Agreed about things we miss from childhood. I grew up in the mountains but love the city. But always somehow end up back in the mountains, LOL! 🙂 If/when I get to Virginia, I’ll let you know! I’d love to do an East Coast road trip and see the sights in D.C. someday.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Definitely Kelly let me know when or if you’re ever in this side of the country and would love to meet up. Hopefully D.C. will be alive once again and open for tourists/visitors in the not far future 😊

        Liked by 1 person

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