Halloween Memories

What makes Halloween memories so great?

We had some good times that included candy, that’s why. Perhaps glad there are no do-overs? My past Octobers used to be filled with sewing costumes. I don’t miss it. Michigan Halloweens come cold. There had to be enough room under the costume for a winter coat.

Another factor, which I don’t share, is getting scared out of your wits. That has never been pleasurable, real life has enough blood-curdling thrills. Consider today.

I hope I am not too late with this message.

If you have been listening to news lately, there are many concerns about Fentanyl entering our country in various forms, one of which is candy. Many are frozen in fear of their children falling victim to this deadly drug.

The fear is not new. When my children were young, there was a scare at this same time of year concerning needles and razor blades found in candy and apples. That and this Fentanyl deliberately placed in the hands of innocent children makes anyone’s blood grow cold.

What can a parent do when children cannot go out Trick or Treating? In the eyes of small people, this is not an option. Parents want their kids to be safe, to have a good time, and make memories to look back upon.

There is an option I will share.

The mothers in my neighborhood threw a party. Instead of going door to door, we decided the safest bet was providing a different memory. This was not an easy task for yours truly, who is not a party animal.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. One mother offered her yard. It was an ideal setting backed up to a park bearing spooky trees at night, complete with wind blowing through them. All of us volunteered homemade treats; we had to make a large quantity to compensate for not begging candy from the home of strangers. At least we knew what was there and that all food was safe for consumption.

Games were planned and the kids all seemed to have a great time. Most of all though, we mothers could take a sigh of relief knowing our kids were not going to be a statistic of a death related to this foul play.

That’s what loving parents do. Provide stability in fearful times, showing a different way of having fun, keeping innocent ones safe. Just like Jesus did. He showed a different way of life, provided a safe place to live.

And fun. It doesn’t have to have an evil intent.

Domino Friday

 © jb katke

A lousy seventy-five cents nearly sent me off the deep end. How is that possible?

Events went down like dominoes.

Friday is my grocery shopping day. It started seeing my husband off to work. My mistake was returning to bed. Three hours later I hurried to get this day going.

I have told others, “You must have needed the sleep.” It’s a poor excuse when it happens to self. Kiss the reduced meat counter goodbye. The early bird catches the worm. But not today.

Habit takes me to several stores to catch the deals and I question my routine. Money saved on sales is spent in the gas tank. Not all products are available in every store. Am I willing to sacrifice my pet brands? Apparently not.

One of my stops was at a well-known discount store. There in, my blood pressure elevated. Distilled water is a prerequisite, the shelf was full of the jugs. All, outdated. Ditto for the grocery store. I gambled on the purchase.

Daily the news speaks of unmet supply chain demands. Be it a shortage of truckers, or lack of store employees to stock, we all are feeling the inconvenience. Can water go bad? Never mind, at home I realize I was reading the wrong date.

My heart goes out to the mothers unable to find formula to feed their infants. My prayer is God will provide for them, and for Momma to see Him  better.

At said store, I found a frequent purchase of mine bearing a seventy-five-cent coupon. Eureka! Only to find the self-serve cash register would not recognize the coupon. Thus, an employee came, not to my rescue. “I don’t know why it won’t work. Oh well.”

“Get me a manager.” Wise spending is a prerequisite, I didn’t want to let this go. Prices are high enough without machines, that supposedly don’t make mistakes, to malfunction. “Nooo, you don’t want a manager, it would take too long getting one to come.” I left, feeling robbed.

I would not mind if it had been a small mom and pop store, they need support. But this huge franchise has forced the ‘little guys ‘ to bankruptcy. It disturbed me enough to think they don’t need my business.

Thankfully, I have other options. Not everyone does. Turmoil could have reigned had I not lectured myself. Seriously girl? Don’t fret, God has your back.

I don’t have to look far to see frustration in others, I am not alone. But the Good Book says,

I have told you these things so that you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33.

What are ‘these things?’ In prior verses, Jesus explains. His words foretell a future of hope and encouragement. A much-needed commodity these days.

A Day to Remember

 ©jb katke

Well folks, two, twenty-two, two thousand twenty-two is in our rear-view mirror. One that we will not live through again. Amen to that.

Did you do anything remarkable that day? I know it will not reach the infamy of the day John F Kennedy was assassinated or even anything the likes of walking on the moon. I did not set out to make it anything other than another day. Despite my good intention, it did stand out from the norm. Thank heavens not every day is like that one.

The day started out with my Tuesday morning Bible study. A hymn was recommended to look up. I shared a page from my songbook that includes a brief story of events that took place in the songwriters life, inspiring the song. It’s quite interesting and the ladies seemed to appreciate it.

On my way home, I stopped into Walmart to pick up a few grocery items. My choice is always to use a checkout where an actual person is ringing up my purchases. The management has instead chosen to make the row of cash registers a décor of bygone days. The only ones open are those the consumer has to man themselves. I hate that. If we customers are ringing up our own purchases and bagging them, we ought to either be put on the payroll or given an employee discount.

I finished my transaction only to find the can of peanuts that I missed in ringing things up. Immediately I find myself having to decide to forego the peanuts or ring up a second purchase. I realize there is a third option; to quickly exit the store without paying. I decided on option #2; the following explains why.  Cameras are everywhere. There is not a doubt in my mind that I would have been caught, detained by the police and most likely been taped for the television series of America’s Most Wanted. I didn’t have that kind of time. Besides which, I wanted to sleep that night, and you know…the Lord would know.

The day could have ended there. But nooo. I had a load of laundry to do. I use a smaller bottle of detergent to load into the washer because the bigger bottle is harder to handle pouring. Little bottle was nearing empty. No problem, I’ll just pour more from the bigger bottle. As I’m doing so, I got to thinking I should have made sure I picked up the right bottle, both detergent and fabric softener are white bottles. Girlfriend, you’re always doubling checking yourself. Show a little confidence, you know what you’re doing. I couldn’t resist, after filling my detergent I peeked at the big bottle. Yup, I poured fabric softener into the detergent bottle. I went to bed early that night before I could make any more memories.