Want to know why I am sitting in the dark? With apologies to the droves of trick-or-treaters outside, I admit that I am in hiding. From them.
It’s not that I don’t like kids. I don’t even really have anything against Halloween, except some of the stuff people do is kind of creepy.
I even like the idea of dressing in costume, although I never get around to actually pulling it off. I like this costume, which I saw in a store window.
The real issue around here is our darn dogs. They launch into a frenzy of barking whenever the doorbell rings. For years, we suffered through Halloween night and a solid three hours of ringing and barking; barking and ringing. The occasional adorable bumblebee and a few pilfered Snickers snack size candy bars just didn’t make it worth it.
So, a few years ago Louise and I came up with our own tradition. As the sky darkens on Halloween night, we rove through the house turning off all the lights and pulling down the shades. We sneak upstairs or into a back room to eat our dinner in the dark. As the din dies down outside we might get brave and turn on the TV.
Last year on Halloween I was at the end of My Month of Hundreds. I remember not know what was coming next and feeling kind of panicky. I feel the end of 2011 looming now, but have some catching up to do and lots of giving ahead of me.
ANYWAY. I was somewhat concerned to see that there were Trick-or-Treaters out already as I was coming home from work around 5:30. If I didn’t get home before the onslaught began I would be in big trouble.
I was headed west on Weidler and stopped at a red light. I was right in front of the bus stop where I met Taylor in March. There was a woman sitting by herself on the bench, a colorful knitted cap on her head. She saw me looking at her and our eyes met for a second. I spotted a parking space around the corner and, on impulse, pulled into it. I grabbed a hundred from my wallet, stuffed it in my pocket and jumped out of the car.
“I like your hat!” I announced. “Did someone make it for you?” The woman looked at me unsmilingly, then nodded. “Yes, my mother made it,” she said. The words just bubbled up out of me. “I love the colors! It looks great on you!” Sheesh. She wasn’t too impressed and just stared at me.
I plunged onward and told the woman I had something I wanted to give her. “You want to give me something,” she pondered skeptically. “What is it?”
I told her I was honoring my mother by passing on a gift she had given to me when she died. “What is it?” she asked again. I handed her the hundred and she shook her head, smiling. She said “thank you”, then thought for a minute. “You know what that is?” she asked. “That’s God.”
She said her name was Lisa and we talked for a few minutes while she waited for the bus. She said she had been unsure about what I was after. “It is Halloween, you know,” she reminded me.
“This is kind of amazing,” she said. She told me that she and a friend from church had been talking about going to a retreat together. “I just told her I would figure out the funding so we could go.” She patted her pocket. “This is it! We’re going!”
I told her about the blog and she said I could take her picture. The bus pulled up and she posed while the driver waited. As she got on the bus I heard her say, “He never ceases to amaze me.”
I waved as the bus pulled away but I don’t think Lisa was watching.
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