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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Halloween to Remember

A Halloween to Remember

This story may or may not be true…is it a trick? A treat? Both? Neither? You decide…or maybe you’ll never know because you’ve entered the ‘fiction zone……”

I received her reminder exactly a week before Halloween:  Am I still taking the kids trick or treating Halloween night?
I had nearly forgotten I had promised her. I didn’t particularly care for Halloween and was happy to have someone else endure the evening of begging door to door for candy, so I responded: Sure, if you’re willing to take them, they’re all yours. Just don’t let them eat the candy.
Having been our family babysitter for years, she expected that sort of reply and meant the following literally: LOL
I knew she would let them eat some of the candy, and she knew that I would be fine with a little candy as long as it was done in moderation and some of the Tootsie Rolls would be saved for me.
We made arrangements to meet at the local college so she could pick up another friend as well as the children and head out for an evening of fun and adventure. I packed up the children (in their costumes) and reminded them to say please and thank you, wear their hats and gloves, be polite, use their hands for helping and their mouths for saying nice things. They promised to behave, and we agreed to meet up in a little over two hours at Starbucks. I had packed a book in my bag and was looking forward to a quiet evening at Starbucks.
I sent out an open invitation to friends and family to stop and visit with me while I relaxed at Starbucks. Debi took me up on the offer and we chatted the night away. It was ½ hour before the children would be back and my phone began to vibrate. I excused myself from the conversation explaining that it was the friend who had the children so I’d better take the call.
“Hello. How are you guys doing?”
“We are done, but you better come get the kids. My keys are locked in my trunk and we are at the park at the corner of Lincoln and 86th Street.”
“Oh gosh, did you call the police?”
“No. My parents would be really upset if I did that. A friend is on the way to try and help.”
“OK – I’ll leave here right away.”
I got to the park to find Lydia (the young lady who babysits and had taken the children), my two toddlers, and a woman dressed like a nun. They were all standing around Lydia’s car and the children were discussing their treasures and treats. The adults were not wearing costumes, it turned out that the woman in the nun outfit was indeed a nun. She and the children joined me in my warm sport utility vehicle while Lydia waited for her friend, Eric to arrive to try and release the door lock.
Eric arrived and worked tirelessly on the lock for nearly an hour. I didn’t want to leave Lydia and the children’s car seats were in her back seat, so I had a good reason to hang around and wait for a solution to the dilemma. Sister and I also tried to help in various ways by holding the flashlight, using the hanger to try and catch the lock, etc…and after another hour had gone by, I asked again if I could call the police for help. Lydia agreed.
I provided the police with all of my information as if I had locked my keys in the vehicle. They asked if the vehicle belonged to me. At first I said yes, but then I quickly explained it wasn’t exactly my vehicle. Lydia was relieved when they didn’t ask for her information and said under the circumstances, they would only need my name, address, phone number, and date of birth. She was hoping her parents would not find out about the incident.
It took the officer a few minutes to release the latch and we were all on our way. The children thanked him and he was clearly the hero of the evening. I promised Sister I would never forget her because there weren’t too many nuns who I had broken into cars with. I commended Lydia on keeping her cool and her ability to laugh in even the most uncomfortable situations, and we thanked Eric for his tireless efforts – he seemed like a great friend for Lydia.
There’s that saying about life – something to the extent of: “life is not about the destination, it’s about the ride” and I can certainly say that tonight was a ride worth remembering. Things don’t have to go as planned to be fabulous, fun, and memorable. I don’t think I’ve ever had a more exciting Halloween (and I can tell you that even a nun may say damn every now and again…but shhhhh….that’s just between you and me).
May your paths be abundantly filled with lemons, sugar, sunshine, and memorable moments with friends! ~Crystal

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