A Halloween Remembrance

booLast week, in a Facebook discussion with friends, I found out that Daylight Savings Time was moved to later in the year mainly to accommodate Halloween so kids would not have to trick-or-treat in the dark.

My, how Halloween has changed.

As a youngster, I remember how the longest day of the year was Halloween, (followed by the day before the last day of school but that is another posting). It wasn’t until dark that we were allowed to go out and trick-or-treat.

We went in little hordes, accompanied by someone’s an older brother or sister, who was inevitably “On Restriction” and so had drawn the scary short straw. “On Restriction” was the misdemeanor designation for the parental crime rap sheet, with “Grounded” being the felonious version. We carried little plastic pumpkin candy holders or larger bags provided by the local bank…black cats with “Union Federal” festooned in spooky 20 point font. As if saving money was the scariest thing in the world. No one, ever, ever carried pillowcases—ever! Never would have even been considered to bring items from the JC Penney’s White Sale on the candy caravan. Ever.pumpkinholder

Our parents did not accompany us because they were at home greeted the waves of children. Each house had its own theme. At my house, my dad  dressed up in his referee uniform (he refereed ball games on the weekends for extra money). He added a ghoulish rubber hand with ugly moles, sprouting an icky long, black hair. He punctuated his speech with puns and elongated pronunciation, “Give me a ‘hand’ with that ‘handsome’ stranger!” “How ‘handy’ you are with the goblin!” “Go wash your ‘hands’ before dinner!”

The visual and auditory memory causes me to shudder even today.


My mother’s costume was verbal only. She dressed in the same clothes and pearls as usual, but adopted a different accent and a smattering of foreign dialect. So, for many years, she would tell us to “Watch the clock; you’ll be going out ‘Pronto!’” or “Our Hamburger Helper is muy caliente!” Charo would be thrilled.

Each house had a theme. Most were traditional Halloween with decorations and candy purchased from the Sav-on located on Vermont Avenue, (when we lived in Inglewood) or the Pic-N-Save (when we lived in Huntington Beach). Some houses reflected their unique personalities: the geriatric house where the older couple gave out divinity which was considered a candy for grown-ups. The older couple would always ask us, “Now, who would you be?”

I usually was dressed in whatever hand-me-down costume my sister had discarded from previous Halloweens or school plays. Sometimes my grandmother dressed me so my costume reflected the fringed shawls of her university days at Berkeley.

paul lemat in American GraffitiMy brother once dressed like Paul LeMat in American Graffiti , sans cigarette. These were the days before American Graffiti so it was more of a West Side Story thing I think in retrospect.

There was the house with the hippies and the brownies that looked so good but which Miss Peggy always purloined to the garbage when the plastic pumpkin candy holders were inspected back at home. There was the house of the two older spinster sisters who gave us either peppermints from Woolworths or fruit. Either option went straight to my grandmother upon return.

There was the house of the crazy vegetarian artist who always painted our faces and gave us carrot cookies made with carob chips. These unfamiliar morsels went straight to the dog or were ripped to chunks and thrown at other rival hordes as we progressed from house-to-house.

There was the older World War II vet’s house. He always gave us the free lollipops from the same Union Federal bank where our candy collection bags were distributed. We kids viewed these lollipops as a rip-off, but, because he had served our country, our respect was expected in return for them. But at least he went through the candy motions.

Gabby Diaz’ house, featured her dad was a high school math teacher. He always gave a “Trick” when given the choice of “Trick or Treat.” He gave us math problems, which, if correctly solved, yielded salt water taffy from the bait shop down by the pier, hardly an incentive. This was where the older brothers and sisters who chaperoned us finally had a bit of humble pie to eat as we watch them squirm in various states of math-ignorant discomfort trying to answer his “trick.”

Our favorite house was a little bit off the beaten cul-de-sac. It was the house of the Revak’s. We LOVED the Revak house. Both of the parents at the Revak house worked and so they had more money than all the rest of us. Their daughter Cindy had THE PRETTIEST clothes and a store-bought costume that literally (at least in my memory mind) glittered as she walked. The Revak household had Hershey’s candy and Snickers bars and the Hope Diamond of all Halloween treats: the Mars bar! And the dad at the Revak household, who worked at McDonald Douglas, gave huge fistfuls of candy, not just the miserly single of the Puritanical houses where we resided. The Revak dad did not wear a fake hand and dispense candy with a ghoulish, scream of a laugh like my dad. As an engineer, he was all pencil protectors and skinny black tie.

The return walk back from the Revak house was suspense-filled as we guarded those full plastic pumpkins with the due diligence of junior CIA field operatives. Other groups were lying in wait outside the yopon bushes of the Revak house, since the best candy inventory left from that driveway. Night was fully realized, our chaperones having grown impatient and slightly miffed after the math debacle of the Diaz house. Making it home and splintering off each to our houses was an act of cunning, craftiness, and survival, aided by a few furtive fistfuls of Revak candy.

As I got closer to my house I could hear the familiar voice of a referee in full recitation of “The Raven” complete with accompanying flashlight under his chin. And always in the dead of post-Daylight Savings time darkness.

Happy Halloween in the post-daylight savings time of safety.

Happy Halloween

Midweek Question~October 30~Purah

Who are the “Purahs” in your life?

“If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp” (Judges 7:11).

To battle the avenging Midianites, God came to Gideon through an angel and addressed him. God called Gideon a “Mighty Warrior” which was quite a stretch of characterization from Gideon’s insecure, timid perspective.


Gideon was still not convinced about this battle against the Midianites, especially since God reduces his troop size from 22,000 to 300. God did two more things to help ease Gideon’s anxiety. He told him to go into the camp during the night to eavesdrop on their soldiers. God tells Gideon that what he will hear will encourage him. Gideon is terrified by the whole idea. So, God takes another step in order to use Gideon for His purposes. He sends Gideon’s trusted friend and soldier named Purah with him.


We all need “Purahs” in our lives. We need people who are willing to take risks and who can be used by God to bring our faith up to a level of being able to do extraordinary things in His Kingdom.

Has God called you to a daunting assignment? Perhaps He has also placed a “Purah” in your life to encourage you.Or. perhaps, you are being called to be a “Purah” in the life of another who has a daunting assignment to accomplish.

This message abridged and adapted from Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

Monday (pictorial) Words for the Soul~October 28

My cousin Nancy sent this picture link to me and the pictures were just too awe-inspiring to keep in my Inbox alone.

Nurture your soul and click on the beautiful picture to see more beautiful pictures

fall foliage

Would you like to share links to your favorite fall foliage?


Additional words for the Soul

a word from The Sponsor~October 27

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil” ~Proverbs 3:5-7

Proverbs 3:5-7

 “Whenever God gives a vision to a saint, he puts the saint in the shadow of His hand, as it were, and the saint’s duty is to be still and listen… When God gives a vision and darkness follows, waiting on God will bring you into accordance with the vision He has given if you await His timing. Otherwise, you try to do away with the supernatural in God’s undertakings. Never try to help God fulfill His word. ~Oswald Chambers


Photo by Janet Zepeda

More words from The Sponsor

This Weekend~October 25~Say Boo!

boo sign


This Weekend, just for this weekend…say Boo!

Say Boo! to ingratitude.

Try this simply quick Boo-rrific! little game:

Watch the clock for a minute. Just watch the second hand move around the minute circle.

Just for a minute. And as you watch, say 60 things you are thankful for in a minute

Can you?


Can you talk really fast like the guy in the commercial

Can your mind go faster than your lips? with gratitude?

Make the words happen … 60 in 60

Just this weekend….Go!   :)

… “be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus
~1 Thessalonians 5:16–18


More weekend activities

Midweek Question~October 23~Resolutions

Have you thought about your Resolutions?

There are only 9 Wednesdays until the New Year


(I have a Friend on Facebook who keeps us posted on the number of shopping days left until Christmas. I thought perhaps it would be good for me to keep an eye on how many Wednesdays there are until the Day of Resolutions.

Have you thought about what you will resolve?

I am thinking about a focus on correlations this year–how when I do one thing that I am also doing another.

This quote is nagging at me:

“You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration.” – James Allen

I am thinking it will have something to do with what I Resolve for 2014.


For additional questions, gently click here.

Monday Words for the Soul~Industrious Bravery

From The Brave Girls Club: Sometimes the best thing we can do is just get to work. When we are waiting, when we are worrying, when we are wondering — get to work. There is something very beautiful and wonderful and miraculous about the feeling that comes after finishing something that would not have been finished unless WE set out to do it.

So, whether it is 5 loads of laundry, a car that needs cleaned out, leaves that need to be raked or a garage that needs to be organized, there’s magical healing power waiting in the journey of finishing those little tasks. Even a tiny little 5 minute task can take our minds off of everything that is not going right and help us get back on track and feel like we just MADE something better, that we DECIDED to make SOMETHING go right.

Just try it, dear girl. Even if you are feel paralyzed, lost or unmotivated. Find a way to get to work. We are souls who love to progress, and when we are stuck in stagnation, misery ensues. There is always something that needs to be done somewhere, and you are just the right girl to do the job.

You can do it, and it will feel SO GOOD when you are done.

You are so loved.
xoxo~~The Brave Girls’ Club


Additional words for the Soul

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