Halloween meant finding a costume that would fit over your winter coat and snow boots. I don’t remember a Halloween night when it didn’t snow or at least rain. And it was never warmer than 40 degrees ~ what we expected from life in Butte. It also included multiple pillow cases, as us big kids figured the little buckets and pumpkins were too small for our stash. No matter the amount we brought home, we had a family ritual after we arrived home with our treasures. My dad reminded us there were poor kids who didn’t get to dress in costumes or collect candy. They needed our donations. That’s when the real fun began. Each of us got a box lid where we dumped our treasure trove. Any wrapped pieces were fair game, and we sorted the pieces in half ~ half for the poor and half for us. I would try to ‘sneak’ a few pieces in my pocket, under the table or in my mouth. Dad would take one from my pile each time I did that. He was so smart and I was so not sneaky. The recipient of the candy was one of our family benefactors, Sister Borromeo Brose. Sister Borromeo was the pharmacist at the hospital and a nun who sent many, many things to the poor children in poor countries. What that meant in my early days was that she got my candy. To my 10-year old mind, she was the tough nun who took the good stuff, leaving me with being ‘grateful for everything I took for granted’ ~ the meals, the family, the roof over my head and the food on my plate. To my now 52-year old mind, she was the conduit for my first lesson in charity and a powerful reminder that there were always others more in need. I could always make a difference, and sometimes all I had to do was share my candy. Happy Celtic New Year ~~ May you find someone to share your treasure trove.