Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Halloween’

A Little Yankee

My favorite scents of the fall -

Yankee candles in Fall Festival, Pumpkin pie, Autumn leaves and Caramel apple cider.  You can see some of my other favorite products on pinterest here.

What is your favorite thing about fall?

Here’s a little jar of yankee that sits on my desk – reminding me of all the delicious scents of this season.

If you put your nose close enough to your computer screen – you can smell it too :)

God Bless

Be A Light In The Dark

Candle in the night

Image by jcarlosn via Flickr

Halloween has many memories for me. Like any other child of my generation, I remember when it was safe to go trick or treating. Oh there was the general “scare” about razor blades in apples, and you weren’t supposed to eat any “homemade” candy. But all in all – it was pretty tame.

What’s even more amusing to me – our church youth group used to have a haunted houses complete with zombies and ghouls to scare us and make us scream as we went through it. Our youth pastor was the biggest kid among us. No one thought anything about it. It was just good clean fun.

I even remember singing “The Monster Mash” as a part of a Halloween celebration at our church one year. We had a really goofy guy doing the solo and then a few of us girls backed him up – I must have been in junior high then. Again – good clean fun – not meant to conjure up evil spirits or somehow celebrate a demonic holiday with satan.

It was not until college that I heard any controversy about Halloween. And I learned that some of these students had never gone trick or treating – nor did they celebrate in any way, unless it was a harvest festival or equivalent at their church. They did not hand out candy to children, even turned their lights out in their home to avoid people all together.

We did not agree and always let our kids dress up and go out on Halloween, with us along, of course. It was fun for them – as it had been for us – and I did not see any reason to darken their world with horror stories and controversy over it. Children only know that they are getting candy – LOTS OF IT. And they are excited!

Some years ago our children’s pastor spoke about this subject, and I thought he had wonderful things to say in addressing this issue that the church has been faced with. Do we – or don’t we? His insight was really great – he said, “this is an opportunity – how often do you have CHILDREN and their parents coming to your door?”  He was of the opinion that we as Christians should embrace the moment – impact our neighborhood and shine the light of Jesus everywhere we go – on EVERY day of the year – including Halloween.  He had tracts that he handed out with candy in hopes that the family would get a positive message from a Christian family on the block – with information and numbers of the church and him personally.

It was great advice – and I know MANY people who also practice this.  And although we don’t pass out a tract to children – we DO have our lights on shining brightly and we greet each one with a smile and a welcome – letting our light shine out in a dark world – impacting one child and one family – one at a time.

I challenge you to do the same – be a light in the dark.  You never know who may come to your door that needs – you.

 

Below – enjoy a trip back to my youth group days – with a video of “Monster Mash”.

Have a safe Halloween.

 

God Bless

To Kill A Mockingbird – The Stage Production

To Kill a Mockingbird

Image via Wikipedia

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
- Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Last night we went with our small group to see the stage production of “To Kill A Mockingbird”.  We have watched the movie version of this with Gregory Peck as a family tradition for as long as I can remember – every year on Halloween.

Reading this book is a treasure of wonderful word images and emotional stimulation – evoking both humor and sadness.  I wondered what the stage version would be like – and although it had elements from both the book and the movie – it was different – more raw – and fragile – like looking at something you’ve seen a hundred times in a fresh new way – through a different lens.

The stage version had the grown-up Jean Louis Finch (Scout) narrating the story throughout the play of the memories of her hometown and how she remembers it – as a little girl.  It was rich to see her remembering certain things as new characters came in the story.  Things she didn’t understand as a little girl – when recalled by the older version of herself – made total and complete sense to her years later.  And things that were above her at the time – were looked back on with clear reflection, humor and understanding.

In the courtroom scene – I noticed how the older Jean Louis was remembering and her eyes had much emotion when looking at Tom Robinson – the man accused of raping a white girl in Macomb Alabama, in 1935.  Condemned before tried – the “no-win” situation troubled her even when looking back at the scene years later – and that was a very moving part of the story for me.

The other thing that stood out in my mind was when the father, Atticus says to Boo Radley, a reclusive next door neighbor who finally “comes out” to rescue Scout and Jem from the very angry and abusive Bob Ewell – “Thank you, Arthur.  Thank you for my children”.  It is in this simple statement that brings solemness to seclusion – and dignity to the bizarre and different.  The reclusive “monster” that supposedly lived next door to them – turned out to be the hero of the story and in fact – saved their lives – defending them against an evil force – when they could not defend themselves.

I am forever in awe of the wonderful story this is – told from a child’s point of view – or at least a grown-up “child” remembering her dear old lawyer father in a southern town during the depression of 1935.  Rich imagery and word pictures – a father full of conviction and integrity – teaching his children to stand for what’s right and to have courage in the midst of sure defeat.  I take something new away from this great classic every time I see it.

Below are some of the wonderful quotes from the book.  I hope they will inspire you to read this book, see the movie – or take in the live production when you get the chance.

God Bless

  • “‘Remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’ That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it.”
  • “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy… but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.

They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions… but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself.  The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.  ~ spoken by the character Atticus

I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand.  It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.  You rarely win, but sometimes you do.  ~ spoken by the character Atticus

She seemed glad to see me when I appeared in the kitchen, and by watching her I began to think there was some skill involved in being a girl.

So it took an eight-year-old child to bring ‘em to their senses…. That proves something – that a gang of wild animals can be stopped, simply because they’re still human.  Hmp, maybe we need a police force of children.  ~ spoken by the character Atticus

“I think I’ll be a clown when I get grown,” said Dill.  “Yes, sir, a clown…. There ain’t one thing in this world I can do about folks except laugh, so I’m gonna join the circus and laugh my head off.”  “You got it backwards, Dill,” said Jem.  “Clowns are sad, it’s folks that laugh at them.”  “Well, I’m gonna be a new kind of clown.  I’m gonna stand in the middle of the ring and laugh at the folks.”

The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box.  As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it – whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash.  ~ spoken by the character Atticus

I think there’s just one kind of folks.  Folks.  ~ spoken by the character Scout

The sixth grade seemed to please him from the beginning:  he went through a brief Egyptian Period that baffled me – he tried to walk flat a great deal, sticking one arm in front of him and one in back of him, putting one foot behind the other.  He declared Egyptians walked that way; I said if they did I didn’t see how they got anything done, but Jem said they accomplished more than the Americans ever did, they invented toilet paper and perpetual embalming, and asked where would we be today if they hadn’t?  Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the facts.

When a child asks you something, answer him, for goodness’ sake.  But don’t make a production of it.  Children are children, but they can spot an evasion quicker than adults, and evasion simply muddles ‘em.  ~ spoken by the character Atticus

Bad language is a stage all children go through, and it dies with time when they learn they’re not attracting attention with it.  ~ spoken by the character Atticus

Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don’t pretend to understand.  ~ spoken by the character Atticus

Harvest Moon

A harvest moon

Image via Wikipedia

Last night was a very rare ‘harvest moon’ – which only appears once in several years – a full moon on the first day of fall.

We noticed coming home from dessert last night in downtown Renton – that the clouds seemed brighter – and then we saw – it was the full moon peeking out from beneath the clouds.  It was beautiful – and we marveled at the rare event that we were witnessing. Most of the Northwest missed this event due to the clouds – and we felt lucky to get a glimpse of it!

I feel that with each passing season – there are wonders and things that are around us that we need to pay attention to – and really see. We get so busy with our lives – our worries and stresses and everyday schedules – we simply forget to look around us.

There’s something magical about the moon.  Always breathtaking and mysterious – a blob of light in the sky – round and constant – sometimes hidden – sometimes fully seen – but always there.

I want to enjoy this season – the smells and wonders of fall.  The pumpkin spice lattes – the spicy candles in my home – the fireplace lit up with crackling wood – giving warmth and character to the room – and the chill in the air reminding me of other fall seasons – and that pumpkins and Halloween – will  soon be here.  I love watching the leaves turn – it’s my favorite part of fall.

Welcome Harvest Moon.  Come back again soon.

Below is a video of the beautiful song and pictures ‘When the last leaf falls’ by David Lanz.  It will warm your heart and help you usher in the new ‘season’ of beauty.

God Bless

To Kill A Mockingbird

Cover of "To Kill a Mockingbird (Collecto...

Cover via Amazon

Every year our family watches the classic movie “To Kill A Mockingbird” – with Gregory Peck.  It is a poignant story of life in a small southern town during the depression – and one man’s fight against racism and prejudice – during a time when it was not popular or politically correct.

It is also a love story.  A love story between a single Father and his children.  And a love story between an outcast of society – who lives next door – and his great love and protection for those children.

It is about misconception – prejudice – small mindedness and human nature  - where fear is the motivating force.  It is about hope and belief that things and people CAN be better and change.

I read the book many years ago – and even studied it in high school.  It has many themes in it and is timeless in it’s simple message of love, life and hope.

The music composed in this movie is by Elmer Bernstein – and it is one of my very favorites.  It is childlike – and yet haunting and beautiful at the same time – very emotional and deep.  Below is the main theme from the movie.  If you have not had the opportunity to see this great film – made in the early 60′s – I would encourage you to do so – you won’t regret it.  It is our tradition to watch it every Halloween.

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”    Atticus Finch

Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” That was the only time I ever hear Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it.  “You’re father’s right,” she said.  “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy.  They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us.  That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mocking bird.”

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