Frank and I were reminiscing about Halloweens past over the weekend and I have to admit I had some really great times back in the day. I lived in a wonderful neighborhood growing up....my parents knew all the other people in the area....and we were allowed to stay out and play until dusk. Halloween night our parents would dress us up and we would parade, in large groups, up and down the blocks yelling, "Trick or Treat!" I always knew there would be a treat....I never even thought of having to trick someone.....and homemade goodies were a big score. I woke one day and the world had changed.....gone was the safety of neighborhoods....gone were wonderful homemade goodies.....gone were the fond memories of Halloween....I was 17. What had happened in those few short years between childhood and teenagehood? I have no clue....but people got mean. People put drugs, poison, razor blades in candy and fruit....and hurt little children. When I married and became an instant mom....I was once again able to experience Halloween the right way....there were about eight people who lived near us....I knew them all well....and Mrs. Willie V made tea cakes that were to die for. Once again the homemade items were the big score. When Kat came along we lived in an area where I did not know the neighbors and Halloween was a scarey thing....youth did ugly things to your home if they did not like what you gave them.....so I turned off my light....and took Kat to Fall Festivals at church. Halloween was over. When Katrina hit New Orleans and people came to Alex City to live in Fema Trailers at Wind Creek State Park....our church went down on Halloween and did something called Trunk or Treat for the families. It was so much fun and they were so appreciative. Last year our church did the same thing for the local kids and I had a ball. This year we have moved it to the parsonage and several families are joining us there. I am still not a huge fan of Halloween....but after Frank's sermon last night...I may be able to find something about it to enjoy. In his sermon he gave us several suggestions on how to use Halloween as a way to glorify God. "1. Don't turn out the lights and ignore it. Determine to turn a negative into a positive. 2. Stay at home, give out candy and include some information about your church. 3. Go Trick or Treating with your kids and hand out tracts. Just think about it...how often can you go door to door on a day when almost everyone will answer the door with a pleasant attitude? 4. Play Christian music instead of scary music. 5. Have a Halloween party and have everyone dress up as their favorite Bible character. 6. Carve a cross in your pumpkin instead of a scary face....place a candle inside it to symbolize that Jesus is the light of the world. 7. Pray! Pray for the safety of the children and their parents...and that the Gospel will go out tonight as well." You know there are always going to be those who use special events like tonight for bad deeds. There are always going to be vandals, pumpkin smashers, thieves, and toilet paper rollers....but that does not make Halloween inherently evil....it just means that the human heart has a sinful nature." Now....Halloween"s favorite memories.....we had a couple a couple of blocks over who made snow cones....we had some ladies who made wonderful cookies....you always wanted to hit them early. Least favorite memories.....when they gave you pennies. I know now that for some it was a lot......but as a kid....it was not on the Billboards Top 100 of best Halloween things to get. I loved getting wax lips....wax bottles.....clove gum.....beechnut gum....back in the day....you only got one piece...now you get the whole pack. Laurie Beth Jones, in her book, Grow Something Besides Old talks about one Halloween hight when she underestimated the number of children who would knock on her door and she ran slap out of candy. Being resourceful she began giving out quarters, nickels, and dimes. A little 5 year old princess came to her door. She had the wand, the crown, the dress, the shoes...she was perfect. Jones dropped two quarters in her pumpkin and told the little girl, "I've run our of candy, but tomorrow you can take the quarters to the store and turn them into real candy." The little girl stepped back, scowled, looked at Jones and replied, "Lady, this isn't a real wand." Don't you love it? That little princess would have been me with the pennies. Hope you have a safe and Happy Halloween. I know I am looking forward to sharing time with friends....and greeting all the little ghosts and witches that come to my door.
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.