Wednesday, October 31, 2012

halloween's revenge: a cautionary tale

the quiet voice inside me has been leading us me to stop celebrating halloween.

total bummer.

i have always loved halloween. decorations, costumes, pillow cases heavy with candy, parties with doughnuts and caramel apples and cider.  fake spiderwebs everywhere. the sound of crunchy leaves underfoot-shuffling up to the next doorway. anticipation of shouting trick-or-treat...hoping it might be a full sized bar this time.

i love everything about it. especially the costumes. my mother hand made all our costumes growing up. she would make anything we wanted. smurfette, strawberry shortcake, mermaid, gypsy, unicorn, little bo peep,  i carried on the tradition with my children. i sewed many costumes over the years. snow white, belle, cats, leopards, sheep, dr suess characters, even a green m&m costume.  

the last few years i have been feeling that God tug. the quiet whisper, "this isn't for you." i tried denying it. no God...why??? but i love halloween!(whiny voice)

i would try to give it up. ok? i caved and made costumes last year, but to our my delight the storm and resulting 8 day power outage became the scapegoat for not partaking in the festivities...not me. 

i have heard other Christians make their case for not "doing" halloween. i understand. i cannot claim this to be my view. i just know that when the voice speaks...i listen. i am a brat and sometimes do not listen right away. but if i don't, He gets all up in my face-like He did with the adoption. He is speaking to me not to celebrate halloween in the traditional american sense. He hasn't told me why. kinda wish He would.

have you guessed that our children are bummed God is speaking to mom on this one? i did not make any costumes this year. i blamed it on the kids being too old and besides, why get S and B amped up if i know God is not going to be quiet on this one? this past weekend when Superstorm Sandy rolled through, i told the children that again halloween probably wouldn't be happening anyway. E exclaimed in typical tween drama fashion, "see? God does hate halloween!" 

i never said that. i only know it is not for us anymore. i do not judge those that still enjoy the whole package. i admit i was achingly jealous of my friends taking their kids out tonight. (the storm didn't knock our power out. God wasn't going to give me an out two years in a row!)

but how do i break up with halloween? i still love it?

i did allow everyone to carve pumpkins. i couldn't see a reason why i had to rip that unmade memory from S and B's grip. i already nixed the decorations, costumes, and trick-or-treating. even daddy carved his first.  

oh. but it didn't take halloween long to break up with me. it must have heard i was working on an exit strategy and it struck first. rotten holiday.

i arrived home from 5 hours of farming tonight with a full bladder(the farm outhouse is not fun in 50 degree weather) only to step stocking-footed onto a soggy/sloshy rug. the bathroom flooded? what the??? where is it coming from? were the kids playing in the sink again?

i went downstairs to look for veggies for dinner and the basement floor was soaked. puddles everywhere. the whole floor and 12 unopened rolls of paper towels. all soaked. guess they are not quite absorbant enough. 

i ran back upstairs to recheck the bathroom and smelled my entree burning-my pork roast-overdone and shrunken down to a tiny roll stuck to the bottom of my crock pot.

after i turned off my roast jerky, i popped a gianormous, what i thought was an acorn squash from the farm (no one knew what it was-they called it mystery squash) into the microwave to cook while i attempted to find the leaky culprit. 

with phone in hand, trying for the thirteenth time in five minutes to get my husband at work, i crawled all over the bathroom, mopping up the mess. halloween sucks i muttered.

ack! did it hear me? oh no... i think it heard me!

i noticed my neighbor pulling into the driveway and asked him to help me find the leak. he took off his nice jacket and poked around in the ceiling. as he pulled on some insulation, at least five gallons of cold water came dumping down on him. it just poured and poured all over the floor. after continued searching and repeated dousings, we gave up. (his jacket stayed dry...he must not have made halloween angry)

i had to get dinner on the table. i had to stop the water. what to do first?!? 

dinner. kids are hungry.

uh-oh. call CSI:SVU (special veggie unit) something happened to monster squash. ew...looks like brains splattered all over.
mystery solved. spaghetti squash. picture does not show the scope of the explosion.

two dinner elements ruined. better play it safe and just reheat the potatoes i made up in case of power failure. i first forgot to hand smash them and so when i turned on my mixer, chunks of potato sailed up into the air and came splashing down  in the kids' milks i had just poured. add milk to potatoes-do not mix up the order. ugh!

i hand smashed them. i know better. i should get a more appropriate bowl too. (i ignore my voice all the time) nah. everything will be fine. turn on mixer. mixer bounces, up, down, and then seizes up. it actually bounced out of the bowl and landed straddling the bowl with a metal death grip. i think i may have discovered this year's hottest kitchen must have. ta-dahhh...the betty crocker bear trap!

i leave the mess and unceremoniously serve up potatoey milk, spaghetti squash scraped off the microwave ceiling, chunky mashed potatoes, and terriake crockpot jerky. all i say to the shell shocked faces looking at me is, "if you think you have a glimmer of hope to stay up and watch 'Its the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,' then all four of you will eat that scary mess without a sound."

they ate and then ran off to watch the television special. see halloween? i haven't completely banned you.

not good enough. halloween is still mad. i  had to brake the beaters (like trying to pry off a pit bull's locked jaws) to extricate the mixer from the poor bowl. ugh. then while washing dinner dishes, the dishwasher backed up nasty water all over the dishes that i had already washed and rinsed. then, dirt made a huge mess all over my newly washed floor when i put my veggie harvest away. so all the housework, cleaning the kitchen and bathroom, i spent hours doing yesterday is now undone!

now i am tried, wet, dirty, hungry(my jerky only fed four), defeated. halloween really sucks. but wait!!!

still i Praise God. thank you, Lord. i have electricity to explode squash, i have running water even if it floods my house, i have shelter from the cold, fresh organic veggies packed in my fridge, money enough to pay a plumber, a half bath upstairs so we still can use an indoor toilet, oh yeah, and a couple of awesome friends who love us enough to drop off a giant bowl of candy to my deprived children during the Charlie Brown special. every kid needs to gorge on candy while watching Charlie Brown. we are provided for. God has given us everything we need. we are not missing out.

so, how do you break up with a holiday you still love? i still don't know. i am glad my other favorite holidays celebrate Jesus though. i shouldn't ever have to break up with another one again. 

but this i did learn: whatever you do...don't let it break up with you first.

may God bless your All Saints day.