A Good Start To November

halloween, Parenthood, Star Trek

November 1, 2014- An excerpt from the journal that Becca and I keep for Jane

Today we started potty training and you are crushing it. We’re half way through the day and you just went with virtually no spillage. I’m so proud of you. Obviously, it’s been a long time since I’ve written to you. We came back to the US in february and things have been very chaotic ever since. You seem to really miss being in our little apartment in Ingelheim and I do too. I miss the rabbits in the yard, our friendly neighbors, Geert, Christina, Luise, Gerhild, and Gunther, and our simple life without cars. Although things are harder now, I think we’re making more progress in life.

Just yesterday I was told that I won’t have a job after December 14th. It’s OK because I was getting way too good at a job that I wasn’t passionate about. If you must know, I am cleaning yogurt machines for Peachwave Frozen Yogurt. You seem to love your highly privileged access to frozen treats, but for me, it’s tough work. I get up early in the morning, clean for a few rigorous hours, and come home to care for and entertain you for the rest of the day. Being with you is always the highlight of my day. When I come home often your face will light up and you run to me and hug me. It’s not every time but it’s certainly enough to warm my heart and bring me up out of whatever mood I’m in.

Yesterday was Halloween. Our first here in the States. We were Star Fleet officers. You were a princess and for some reason, Becca decided to get you another princess dress just a week before halloween. Come October 31st, you wore dress #2, Princess Anna from Frozen, got it dirty at the park, and refused to wear the very fancy and more expensive dress we got you. Later in the day, you showed interest again and rocked that poofy dress with an impressive hoop skirt. I was apprehensive when we first started knocking on doors to trick-or-treat (too many years of adulthood) but after a few houses, we were all having a good time. You came home with a noble stock of candy and we are dispensing said goodies to you piece by piece as rewards for your porcelain triumphs.

You’re playing hide and seek with your mom while I clean the kitchen. you just counted, “One, Two, … Ten, Eleven, Thirteen, Fifteen, Twelverteen, ready or not, here I come!”

Keep it up, Jane,

Love,

MaPa

Halloween: Hands Down the Best Holiday on the Calender

christians, Coffee, halloween, Star Trek

What else can I say. It’s freaking awesome. This is a day, rather, an evening of ultimate community involvement. What other day of the year is it totally acceptable to knock on your neighbors doors and ask for stuff. If you are a nerd like me, Halloween is absolutely for you. You can dress up like your favorite super hero, villain, or Star Trek character and walk around. If you are a tween and you think that Vampires are so romantic, put on some fangs and powder and get out there. If you are a World Of Warcraft Priest on the verge of level 60, you don’t need to level up. Just go out there and priest up that town.

OK I guess I might be getting carried away. If you are someone who is hung up on Halloween and it’s roots here is an handy wikipedia article to look at. I do have a message for those who are really seeking to be a part of the community. Do something on Halloween. Don’t go the the church lock in or the Halloween alternative. Instead of hanging out with the Apostles, King David, Moses… hang out with some Zombies or Werewolves or the Mario Brothers and so on. I really think that people are missing out on true community here. I think it breaks down to the Christian Coffee Shop Concept.

If you are a friend of mine and you run a christian coffee shop please don’t be offended. I have probably already offended you by hating coffee and it’s awful odor. I think the stuff smells like burning trash. Anyway back to the point. In many communities there are coffee shops. People go there to indulge in the bean and have meetings, prepare documents, do homework, etc… I love this. If I were a coffee drinker I would love these places. Sometimes they have artist come in to do exhibits or to perform. It can be a really cool scene. Here is where it gets tricky or in this case trick or treaty (sorry). Often times a church gets big and decides to have a coffee shop. I would say that this could be OK in many situations. Perhaps there isn’t one in the area. Perhaps it’s a fund raising utility or just another venue that the church wants to have. That’s fine. However sometimes I think that the Church Housed Christian Coffee Shop can serve to insulate an already insulated sub-culture. A sub-culture longing for community and outreach but one that has somehow convinced itself that programming and facilities equals reaching out to the community. I feel that this is somehow backwards. Wouldn’t it be better for your town if members of your community actually visited the local café rather than competing with it? My point in this long winded example is that christians seem to insulate themselves. Stop that!

So moms, dress your kid up like a pumpkin or a bunny and go do Halloween. When you’re out there say hi to people. Boom, there’s community. If you are a shut in, invite some friends over to watch TV and have the candy bowl out side. People will come to your door and you will have the opportunity to know your neighbors. It’s cool.

I know that this post is replete with flaws but these are some things that I have been thinking about for a while. Becca and I are always talking about the untapped potential of this delightful holiday.

Halloween = Outreach.