My dad was a genius for homemade costumes, one year my brother was a robot, thanks to some boxes and foil wrap.

I stood out at a long ago Halloween party, done up in a brocade dress of my mothers, some of Gram’s costume jewelry and a cape. For a few hours I was an elegant queen of a far off land.

What could be simpler than a bag of groceries? Back when paper was not an option. a few clever cuts with scissors and some glue to attach empty packages.

I guess with five of us to costume it might have been as much necessity as anything, but we never felt ‘bad’ that we did not have Superman, Cinderella or a witch outfit from the store.

It was a tradition I carried on, an old graduation robe has stood several incarnations, a set of sweats with a bit of judicious trim was a Power Ranger, another with some fabric paint became an articulated skeleton and when the girls were small, every year a clown costume made of flannel also served as winter pajamas.

Life was easier, and far more practical.

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