I was having a grumpy day. I was hurting, I was tired, blah, blah…
And, I had to go to the post office as the last errand of my busy work day.
I got there and noticed people walking up to the door and stopping. After a few seconds most of them turned around to leave. When I got close enough I saw why. The big sign proclaimed the credit card system was down, and only cash was accepted.
Who carries cash anymore? Not me..that’s who.
Grumbling, I went back to the car and asked Auntie GoogleMaps where the next nearest post office was. I found it and set off, at least happy that I was heading in the direction of home.
I got to the next post office, and apparently ALL THE PEOPLE who’d left that last place had gone there. The line was out the door.
Now, I was really starting to get annoyed.
Fine, I thought, I’ll just go to the post office near my house. This post office is right out of the 1940’s. They staff is very small, usually very sour, and very slow, and on any given day there’s an incredibly long line. At least it was close to home…so, there’s that.
Imagine my surprise when I walked into the post office to see only two people in front of me.
Imagine my further surprise to hear a man’s voice.
He was singing Christmas carols.
He was very good, too.
Looking at the line of folks, I thought for sure it was one of them.
I also briefly wondered if I’d forgotten to take my headphones off, and was the singing coming from them. Yes, I do stuff like that. All. The. Time.
Nope, it was one of the clerks behind the counter. He was young-ish (but then, face it, I’m old and the young-ish are getting younger-ish every day) and had full-sleeve tattoos, large rings in his earlobes, and a shaved head. He was delightfully full of sparkle.
When it was my turn he greeted me enthusiastically, asked about my day as though he really cared, and proceeded to serenade us all as he completed my transaction.
I left there with a big smile on my face, and a decidedly springier step.
I’d been so annoyed at having to search for a simple post office, and the quest had led me to a very sweet place.
It just goes to show you, when you least expect it……..
When I first started working at a power plant I noticed more motorcycles in the parking lot than cars. And these were not your grandpa’s bikes. They were mostly bad ass Harleys.
The guys riding them worked at the plant, and sported long hair, tattoos, leathers, and do-rags.
I admit to telling myself to never judge a book, but I also admit to doing just that.
At first, I was intimidated, but then I started getting to know my ‘brothers’ and found something astonishing.
They were not scary, they were sweet and smart.
My oldest daughter loves Halloween.
No, really loves Halloween.
Like over-the-top loves Halloween.
She’s always been like that, too. And her husband? Oh, he’s just as much in love with Halloween as she is.
They take weeks to decorate their house, and win the ‘Best House’ award every year. On Halloween night, people from all over the county load up their cars and trucks, SUVs and mini-vans, all to come visit this one house. She has hundreds of visitors, and many repeat ‘customers’ throughout the night. We turn the entire garage (or yard, depending on the weather) into a haunted house. We’ll have “Jason”, a “Freddy” and always a chainsaw killer.
The whole family pitches in most Halloweens, and we all buy candy. I’ll bet we pass out $300 worth of it at least.
But, even before the trick-or-treating she has a party for all the kids in the neighborhood.
And I do mean all.
So, this before-party is something I’d never been asked to be part of until this year when everyone else bailed on her.
This should probably me my first clue, but I’m clue-less.
A week ago I agreed to help, and then jumped on Pinterest to find peanut-free treats.
You know how you can see something on Pinterest and think “I can do that..” only to have it not work out like the picture?
Well, at least not this time.
(I almost forgot to post the ‘before’ pic of my bat cookies)
So, these are buttery cookies filled with plum jam – you can use any red jam for this – that you then poke holes in to make it look like a vampire bit into them. Theoretically, the jam will run out the holes a bit and look like blood.
Voila!! Vampire Bat Bite Cookies!
And when that doesn’t happen, just enlarge one ‘tooth’ hole and add a little jam with a toothpick to make it look gory.
So, could I do it twice? I mean find another peanut-free treat to make for the party?
Apparently, I can.
These are sooooooo easy. Cut a big marshy-mallow in half (wet the knife, it’ll be easier), dunk the halves in water for a second and then drop into a bag of colored sugar and give it a shake. Top with a drop of green icing for the stem.
I figured two for two was good, so I wasn’t going to try again.
But my oldest is bold and brave….
And so are her kids!
And why do I keep hearing Lloyd Christmas shouting “I GOT WORMS!” in my head?
Yes, those perfectly creepy kids are two of my gran-chillun’ Their mama has instilled the love of all things Halloween-y in them.
I’m very proud.
Also, I want the little guy’s t-shirt.
So have a spook-tacular Halloween, and if you come to my daughter’s house I’m the witch with the long black hair and the creepy cackle.
Don’t get too close, I hear children go good with worms and bloody bats.
I’ll get you my pretty! And your little dog, too!
No, this isn’t a creepy Halloween-y type story. It’s really a cool story about veterans.
From the rabbit hole that is the ‘Net……
“While visiting some cemeteries you may notice that headstones marking certain graves have coins on them, left by previous visitors to the grave.
These coins have distinct meanings when left on the headstones of those who gave their life while serving in America’s military, and these meanings vary depending on the denomination of coin.
A coin left on a headstone or at the grave site is meant as a message to the deceased soldier’s family that someone else has visited the grave to pay respect. Leaving a penny at the grave means simply that you visited.
A nickel indicates that you and the deceased trained at boot camp together, while a dime means you served with him in some capacity. By leaving a quarter at the grave, you are telling the family that you were with the solider when he was killed.
According to tradition, the money left at graves in national cemeteries and state veterans cemeteries is eventually collected, and the funds are put toward maintaining the cemetery or paying burial costs for indigent veterans.
In the US, this practice became common during the Vietnam war, due to the political divide in the country over the war; leaving a coin was seen as a more practical way to communicate that you had visited the grave than contacting the soldier’s family, which could devolve into an uncomfortable argument over politics relating to the war.
Some Vietnam veterans would leave coins as a “down payment” to buy their fallen comrades a beer or play a hand of cards when they would finally be reunited.
The tradition of leaving coins on the headstones of military men and women can be traced to as far back as the Roman Empire.”
Elebenty hunnert years ago a little movie called “The Wizard of Oz” was made.
Almost as many years ago a young girl sat in front of a movie screen, transfixed.
Suddenly, the chaos of her world could all be left behind if she could only get somewhere over the rainbow.
There a magical land, peopled with magical folks, would be singing and sunshine.
Well, most of them anyway. The rest should watch out for houses. I’m just sayin…
The world of Oz was ordered, and beautiful, and kind, and a deep yearning was fulfilled in the end. And, home was everything it should be – soft and warm and safe and filled with love.
The little girl in front of the screen longed for a home like that. So much so, that she was convinced if she got some ruby slippers and clicked her heels together, the magic would sweep her away to a land where everything was lemon drops and dreams.
The little girl grew up, as little girls are wont to do, but the magic of Oz never left her. In times of trouble, she’d dream of the land over the rainbow.
When she was a young woman, the girl married a man as kind and big-hearted as the Wizard himself, and in time he made all her dreams come true, including this which was waiting for her when she got home from work last Thursday…proving that sometimes the man behind the curtain is great and powerful.
Please tell me it is.
It. Has. To. Be.
Remember my squee-fest over a t-shirt I found?
Yeah..so, this happened to it:
And it’s lost.
Which makes this the most ironic t-shirt – EVVVAHHH!
….is that I’m a right-wing conservative Christian, who adores Ronald Reagan.
For those that didn’t click, I admire your restraint.