Things are Getting Stranger

We finished season one of “Stranger Things” with Jackson last week and have moved on to season two, but we can only watch it during the day because he likes it, but also thinks it’s creepy. Sure, I feel that flow. So it’s been slow going, but he has developed a little obsession with Hopper, which makes sense seeing as Jackson loves the law. Police Chief Jim Hopper is his new favorite, but “Stranger Things” isn’t new at our house.

Way back in 2018, Jerimiah and I watched the first season with my mom when she was visiting. She also loved the show, and had asked to wait to watch the next season with her until she came back again. Well we forgot about it the last time she was here, so we’ve been stuck in this season one standoff for ages now. Back then Jackson was too scared to watch it BUT he had a little crush on a girl who liked the show and when he asked her what she thought he should be for Halloween that year, she said “Eleven” from “Stranger Things.” So this happened…

Yeah, that’s all of us dressed up for Trunk-or-Treat at Jackson’s school that year to impress a girl he never got the guts to “ask out.” Ho hum.

We were a big hit, but I did have to explain the Eggo connection to him because again, he’d NEVER watched the show.

Fast forward to 2020 and he’s like, “Ohhh, now I get the Eggos!”

Cool.

Anyway, I wanted to be Marv, Harry, and Kevin from “Home Alone” this year. But then Covid happened and well, it’s not like we are going trick-or-treating anyway, so I let him do what he wanted and guess what he wanted?

Yeah, that’s Chief Hopper with a (fake) cigarette dangling from his mouth while he decides if he’s gonna crack open another beer or get to work. “Mornings are for coffee and contemplation” my 12-year-old has taken a liking to saying, “Coffee and contemplation.”

So there you have it. The Halloween costume has been created, once again, and he was headed to being all dressed up and nowhere to go. That is until we got a great idea! But this is a long post and my fingers are all burned to shit from ironing patches on shirts and coats and what not, so I’ll tell you about that another time. For now, enjoy some more pics of Chief Hopper.

M.

Falltober

Fall hasn’t hit Central Georgia yet, but I was feeling optimistic with the storms we were having over the weekend, so I made chili. Then we ate it in the air conditioning. It’s humid as hell today, y’all. Damn you, The South! But we pressed forward and pulled out the Halloween decorations last night. Jackson has been slowly inching into more “spooky” things lately. We certainly aren’t ready to watch “Halloween” let’s say, but we’ve almost finished the first season of “Stranger Things” and we are considering that a win. He’s so sensitive to that kind of “spookiness” though, that we have to watch the episodes during the day, quickly followed by an old episode of “The Big Bang Theory.” Ha! Working on it.

So last night we put on some Halloween music (mainly “Thriller” and the “Nightmare Before Christmas” soundtrack and we got to work making things “spooky” for #SpookySzn, but you know, only a little spooky.

Hope you are all full in Spooky Season, or in the least, able to eat some chili.

M.

Brains are Funny That Way

I have this friend, I used to consider her a devout Christian, like when she’d say things like, “You can pray the gay away” (I’m paraphrasing), I’d wince a bit, but move on because we all have our unfounded beliefs, that’s how our brains work. This week she shared her belief on social media that good, Jesus-following Christians, should not celebrate Halloween. I pushed back. Because sometimes we all need push back. We all need reminded that just because we think a certain way, because we’ve studied what we think is “the” truth, there are many more “truths” out there. I ended up DMing her, hoping to explain this. Because she kept saying she was sharing “The” truth and I felt compelled to remind her, like all religions, these are beliefs, not truths. But I don’t think she understood.

That’s how our brain works though, y’all. When we believe something and we repeat it over and over again, “Halloween bad,” then our brain starts to go, “Oh yeah, Halloween bad. And people who celebrate Halloween, bad.” And I think I have a good handle on this friend. I think she’s just trying to serve people. I think she has a servant’s heart, for the most part, but she hasn’t yet realized that you can’t “Halloween bad” people into doing things. But, the post she shared came from a preacher, and the one she wrote on the topic was sparked by what she heard a preacher say at his service. Which means brimstone and fire is being pushed from the pulpit. I’ve heard pastors like this. I’ve seen what they do. How they work. These people believe they have Christ on their side and can say and do what they want. But, uh, don’t we all have Jesus on our side? Isn’t that like, his thing? Y’all, I know some of you who hang with me a lot get tired of hearing this, but, Imma say it again, and hope it sticks: Jesus is not a primary source. No one is taking you seriously when you throw down some, “Well Jesus told me…” Well, I guess some people are taking you seriously, that’s how preachers work. And you know what is at the root of that work? Fear.

Back to my friend. What was even more disturbing about this whole conversation with her, was the way she spoke of Halloween. The fear she had of it. She said she puts on an armor, practices “spiritual warfare.” She said this in the same breath (rather paragraph) that she said she doesn’t worry about things because “Jesus is above all of that.” So which is it? Do we have to be suited up, live in a warfare mindset to love Jesus, or do we trust that he’s bigger than any of it? If you ask me, any type of warfare is rooted in fear, and I have enough fear to last me my whole life, I don’t need my religion bogging me down with it too.

But that’s how religion works, right? That’s why our brains love it! Religion eases our fears. It gives us something to believe in, to cling to when life isn’t going so well. Religion explains a lot of shit that our overworked brains just can’t process. The meaning of life. Why we die. Religion can, and does, explain a whole host of uncomfortable topics for us. Hard topics. That we just don’t want to deal with. I mean if you ask me the Greeks did it the best. All those awesome Gods to explain away all the shit they just couldn’t wrap their minds around! Persephone was my favorite, the way she made all the flowers bloom! Girl, you so special!

At one point in our conversation I suggested my friend was a good writer, one who had the capacity to make people feel united. Help isolated mommas who were just trying to find a community, and sometimes a church community is all they have. And I suggested she keep to less trivial topics, least she be part of the cog that is turning young people, young mothers especially, away from church. I was thinking more along the lines of sharing her stories of redemption. The goodness in her church community. Helping to solve hated and bigotry with her words. She said that getting people to see that the celebrating Halloween is not Christ-like is VERY important to her. Right now. I guess I was calling her to something she just isn’t ready for. Spiritually or creatively. Because if celebrating Halloween is one of the worst things that we are doing in our world right now, then well, my friend’s brain is already elsewhere.

M.