Thursday, October 31, 2019

Definitely a Treat!

Note the UNICEF tag beside the Jesus print. Photo taken June 26, 2011, at the closing of Byers UMC.

To some, it may seem sacrilegious to mention Halloween and church in the same breath. But at the little country church of my childhood, Halloween meant a time to trick or treat for UNICEF.
Byers United Methodist Church, Byers, Kansas
We ghosts and goblins at Byers United Methodist Church had school-lunch-sized milk cartons decorated with the UNICEF logo. As we collected our sweet treats, people would drop coins for UNICEF through the crudely-cut slots at the top of the carton.

Some of us would stay in Byers and go door-to-door. I always wanted to go on the northwesterly country route by car so I could have one of my Grandma Neelly's homemade popcorn balls in my goodie sack.

Unlike today, our parents (and grandparents) didn't have cell phones with cameras to document the festivities, so I couldn't find a photo from one of my childhood October 31 forays. There are still some churches that trick or treat for UNICEF. (A former pastor posted a photo last weekend of she and her two boys dressed and ready to trick or treat for UNICEF at their Nebraska church.)

But many more churches today now sponsor Truck and Treat events. This past Friday, Randy and I got to join Kinley and Brooke at Susanna Wesley UMC's version. And, of course, Grandma pulled out the cell phone camera to take a photo before we departed.
Before we arrived, I wasn't sure what to expect when Kinley said she was going to be a raccoon. The raccoons around here are more often on the "naughty" list than not. Grandpa Randy would say they are into tricks, not treats. But I could see the appeal after I saw Kinley's version. My mental photo of Brooke's princess unicorn was much easier to conjure up before the big day.
Jill and Eric decorated their trunk with an under the sea theme. They were told they needed to plan for 1,000 trick or treaters! I haven't had that many ghosts and goblins visit my rural door step in my lifetime!
Pinterest for the win! It turned out really cute.
The girls had quite the entourage, too. We were there. And so were Eric's parents.
Grandma Christy helped us get in the spirit of the event by providing ears. She had the kitty ears. I had the bunny ears. The minister surmised that both Randy and Alan were dressed up as Bill Snyder for Halloween.
The girls fixed my ears, and we took off through the maze of car trunks.
I thought it was fun to see Kinley's tail in this shot.
Then it was time for some games.
 Afterwards, Brooke joined Mommy to hand out the treats, while Kinley played with her cousins.
Brooke had to hide behind Mommy when there was a creature with a scary mask.
The next day was definitely a treat when our K-State Wildcats pulled out an upset over No. 5-ranked Oklahoma ... and we were there to see it. (Brent was, too: I just didn't get a photo of him.)
After the game, it was on to the Little Munchkin Pumpkin Patch near Alma for some more Halloween fun. Like Goldilocks says: It was just right!
There were slides ...
... and photo stops.
Jill says Kinley has been talking about a corn maze all fall. Even though it wasn't corn, Kinley was satisfied with her adventure through the maze. (And we didn't lose anyone.)
There were plenty of opportunities for sliding, bouncing, running and playing.
Grandpa bought some do-it-yourself s'more kits. He originally bought them for the girls, but then he "claimed" he'd never had a s'more himself. So he bought another kit. For the record, he says he's roasted plenty of marshmallows: He's just never put them inside a graham cracker and chocolate sandwich. He has evidently led a sheltered life. Now he knows what he's been missing.
The girls tolerated Grandma's desire to take lots of photos.
And Grandma even relinquished the camera for a shot with Brooke.
Even though we don't get to witness the girls' trick-or-treat festivities tonight, we were thrilled to get in on the fall fun this past weekend.
All the ghosts and goblins in our neighborhood have grown up. It doesn't seem so long ago that our two were making the rounds to Grandpa Melvin's and Grandma Marie's - where they were surprised by a couple of spooks.

I hope our raccoon and princess unicorn have as much frivolity tonight as these two did - once upon a time.


  1. Oh how goeorgeous are your two little trick a treaters! What an amazing number of ways to celebrate. So much fun. I saw Ben in his 'dragon' costume before I left but sadly he had a middle ear infection and croup so wasn't able to 't & t' , not even at Daycare. It is not a tradition in Oz, but commercialism is trying to make it so.

    1. I know there are people who don't care to celebrate Halloween, but it's always been fun for me. I'm glad you got to see Ben's costume. It's fun to feel a part of the festivities, even if you aren't able to be there on the actual day. Sometimes, I have gone to visit so I could be part of trick and treating, but the work schedule didn't allow it this year.