Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Magical Scene Set in the Mind of AM~Erica

So anyway...

It's the eve of all hallow's eve. And I'm getting stoked!

Halloween really is MY FAVORITE HOLIDAY, and it also arrives during MY FAVORITE SEASON. Ahhhh...I do so love it all.

Last night was no exception on that reminder...

Around here, there has been some rain with some slightly thick & foggy air. There has been an ever-so-slight chill in the air...just so perfect for this time of year. And this scene got me thinking about a magical night of trick-or-treating a few years ago.


It was a dark & stormy night...
OK, not really, but it was night much like I described before the beginning of this story...

As being the WIFE OF A PASTOR, especially in the United Methodist itinerarent system, your spouse gets appointed to a church somewhere within your state (usually). Therefore, you don't really have a say in where you end up for whatever stint is needed at that church. And there are the churches that have a parsonage for their pastor & family (parsonage - the house or living accommodations for the pastor & family thru the appointed church). Many times, it's really nice when a family finds out there is a house provided! It takes out the stress of having to find living accommodations fitting for the family. And, even though we are fully grateful for the accommodations, it can pose challenges. One of these things is where the parsonage is located. The family moves into where the house is could be right next to the church, it could be in the middle of nowhere, it could be on a tiny side street, it could be in a charming get the idea. This is good info to know for this story.

Several years ago, our family was appointed to a new church. This one was terrifying for me since it would be the first time living out of my comfort zone. We were sent across the state. Luckily we were blessed with the church's parsonage! It was kind of a big deal for us since it was my hubby's 1st major appointment! It was frightening & wonderful.

When we got moved into the house & got settled, we realized a few quirks:
1) the house, which was very close to the church, actually sits close to the end of a long side street with a tiny cul-de-sac at the not much of a "neighborhood";
2) the few neighbors that were on the street with us weren't fond of the church & were not very good neighbors (except for 1).

Since my hubby & I had been together, we'd only lived in 1 place where we had a decent amount of trick-or-treaters. We lived in a neighborhood that did have several kiddos that were willing to go door-to-door begging for candy in crazy-adorable getups. When we had to end up moving to duplexes & townhomes, we lost that fun luxury. Which was sad for me. I love that part! I like putting up some decorations & seeing the creativity & variety of kids in costume. Heck...I love greeting them at the door blaring music & in some kind of getup, myself! So when we wouldn't even get 10 kids coming to the door, it was disheartening.

I looked forward to getting into a a neighborhood! When we moved into that parsonage, I only saw that we were in a house that was surrounded by other houses. Imagine how sad I was when reality set in that there may not be too many kids & answering the door was probably out of the question. *sigh*

There is a family, at the church we were appointed to, that still holds a very special place in our hearts. They invited us over to a family gathering they were having. We were not used to anything like that, but discussed that the kids could go trick-or-treating in that neighborhood, there would be food, and we'd get to share our after a lot of deliberation, we hesitantly decided we would go. And it was quite the deal!

I would like to take a moment to say that StL is quite the area to go trick-or-treating on Halloween! Neighbors/friends/families get together around a firepit in a driveway to hand out candy, there are spirits for adults to be treated with, there are parties, and there is an interesting culture of giving a trick (such as a Halloween joke) to get the treat. I thought it was interesting that my kiddos were sent home with a list of Halloween jokes (which I thought was just for kicks & giggles for the holiday), but come to find was useful information.

We got to the gathering with our friends & their family. The food for the gathering was incredible! The amount of candy for costumed tykes was crazy. There was a firepit outside & a magician inside. And then we decided to wander the neighborhood to see what kind of candy loot the kiddos could collect...and off we headed with our friends & their kids...

Oh. My. Goodness.
The night had a creepy chill in the foggy air. The trees had left a warm-colored carpet of leaves along the sidewalks that rustled as we meandered over the tops of them. The moon shown brightly over the scene set. The decorations & firepit gatherings were incredible. The culture of asking for the trick (of a joke) took a bit to get used to. No matter...this was a Halloween set up straight off a Hollywood set!

I could feel it down to my very bones, in my heart, and an unexplainable tingle thru my body that told me that this...THIS...was the magic of Halloween I'd been searching for! This is what I longed for! This is the kind of Halloween I wanted.

After that, we just raided a neighboring neighborhood (yeah...I just said that) to take in the same kind of experience, minus the house gathering. matter how great all of that was...I was merely a spectator of the event, not a participant. And that's what I missed.

As much gratefulness as I/we had for the church we were at & the home provided, imagine my crazy excitement when the new church we were appointed to, back on our home-side of the state, got a parsonage for us. And it is in a neighborhood with a lot of streets & houses & kiddos!

Growing up, my mom always kept track of how many trick-or-treaters would come by our house on our cul-de-sac. If I remember right, we could have anywhere from 20-40! If I could get something like that, it would be amazing. So, in my excitement for kids coming to the door of our new place, I got my tally paper ready...

It was a dark & stormy night...
OK, still not really, but on our first Halloween in the neighborhood, imagine how my mind was blown when I tallied up 80 trick-or-treaters!!! *happy dance*

So, as the weather, right now, reminds me of that Halloween magic, I look forward to the trick-or-treaters, the pumpkin luminaries we put out, the candy, playing the music, the dinner I plan on having for the family, dressing up, the kids dressing up, the tally marks & costumes of those who appear on our doorstep...

And I feel so blessed to be where we are at.

I'm stoked!!!! Are you?

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

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