“My Porch Light Will Still Be Off.” @NonnieJules @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC #RWISA #Halloween

I feel like I tell this story every October – how I turn my porch light off on Halloween so the Trick-or-Treaters don’t come to my door.  Oh, my daughters decorate the yard and the inside of our home for the season, but for me, Halloween ends on the 30th of October, a day before the actual holiday.

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Not that I owe an explanation, I want to share why I do this.

October 28, 1970, the Halloween candy scare broke via a New York Times op-ed.  The world was bombarded with stories of poisoned candy being given to kids, and someone putting razors in apples and passing them out on Halloween.  For a time, folks kept their kids at home on Halloween and wouldn’t allow them out to go door-to-door in search of holiday treats.  Then, things eased up a bit.  The story fell off to the wayside, and within days, memories were replaced with the next big breaking story;  parents began to let their kids out again on Halloween, but when they returned home, cautious parents inspected the candy before the kids were allowed to eat it.

Two days after the op-ed was published, a story broke out of Detroit about a young boy who died due to eating Halloween candy that had been laced with heroin… at least that was the story told by the boy’s uncle.  Investigations later concluded that the young child had in fact ingested the drug, but he found it in his uncle’s home, not in tainted Halloween candy, as investigators had first been led to believe.

On October 31, 1974, another child died in Houston; this time from eating poisoned candy.  Sadly, his own father had placed cyanide in a pixie stick and given it to him.

By the 1980’s, many communities had banned trick-or-treating all together.  By the early 90’s, many of us began taking our kids to area malls, where we were made to feel the treats were a bit safer, although still returning home to inspect any candy before it was eaten.  My husband and I took our daughter to the mall with one pumpkin basket for the mall, and another for the treats she would collect from our family and friends that we drove her to, after mall trick-or-treating was over.  As paranoid and protective as I (still) am about kids, we threw out all the candy collected from the mall stores.  (Hey, devils work in malls too, you know.)  We took our daughter trick-or-treating at the mall, dressed in her favorite Disney costumes, for the experience of the holiday only.

I will admit to being critical of parents who witness all the ugly there is in the world, complain about it, and even hold their kids tighter for about 15 minutes, before forgetting about the ugly, and returning to life as usual.  I’m not that parent. I’ve never forgotten the 1993 kidnapping, rape, and murders of the two Texas teens, Jennifer Ertman (14) and Elizabeth Pena (16). I’ve never forgotten about the 2005 disappearance of Mississippi teen, Natalie Holloway, who went missing while on her senior high school trip to Aruba… the same child whose body has never been found.  It is 2022, 17 years after Natalie’s disappearance, and I can’t stop shedding tears for her mom… for the pain she must still be going through, living in the unknown.  I pray for this mom’s peace every morning, and I pray that another parent will never have to experience that pain again.

So, here we are, mere weeks away from another Halloween.  Parents will open their doors and send their kids on their way, alone, to join in the door-to-door festivities with their friends or other kids who just might be walking the same route.

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Some parents will take their kids door-to-door, and will allow them to eat the candy before it even hits the bottom of their pumpkin basket.  Then, there will be some who decide to personally walk their kids safely to the doors of family and friends… people who they know and trust would never harm their kids.  I tip my hat to this last group.

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Another year, and my porch light will remain off the entire night of October 31st.  Because, although we haven’t had any recent big stories about Halloween, I realize that there are still those who are lying in wait for just the right moment to make national news again, at the dire expense of our children, young and old.

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I suppose I do this in defiance… defiance of a generation of parents who are just too lax with the safety of their kids.  Defiance of a society that prioritizes a football game, over the importance of waiting at the school bus stop with their kids at 5:30 AM, when it’s still dark out.  Maybe I do it, in hopes that a parent will knock on my door and ask, “Why don’t you ever turn your porch light on for Halloween?” and once I give the explanation, they will begin to follow suit.

Whatever happens this Halloween, be prepared to accept the consequences and the responsibility for your part – whether your kids are out alone, going door-to-door, unknowingly accepting treats from those who seek to cause harm and chaos, or safely walking hand in hand with you, as they go door-to-door collecting their treats from trusted family and friends.

Happy Halloween!

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***

Friends, I’ll see you here next time, but before you leave, do share your thoughts.  How do you feel about giving out Halloween candy and treats?  How do you celebrate this holiday?

~Nonnie Jules, Publisher

President & Founder

RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB & RAVE WRITERS  #RRBC 

RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS  #RWISA

59 comments

  1. Hi, Nonnie. Your statement should be one of your favorite quotes and should be shared with everybody. “I don’t see color,” doesn’t mean that I don’t see that you’re black, or you’re white, or you’re Hispanic, or that you’re Asian… it simply means, the shade of your skin doesn’t matter to me – what’s in your heart and how you treat me and your fellow man, does.” That’s how I grew up and have always felt, and it’s how we should all be living. We share this world. Although we’re each completely unique individuals with different physical characteristics, love has the power to bind us together in our common humanity.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. When my son was a little boy of 5, he came home from school and told me his best friend was a boy named Christopher Cain. Now I was to learn that Chris was a white boy. My son asked me, “Why can’t I be white like Christopher?” I was shocked because I wasn’t expecting that. I simply told him that he was a beautiful shade of brown and to be proud of that.” He didn’t need to be like his friend; but that is exactly what most children want to be like — their best friend. I pointed that out to say that there may have been talk at Chris’ house and Clyde might have overheard something that bothered him. After the school year ended the family moved away. I felt bothered by the incident because I couldn’t put my finger on what was going on. Parents talk and kids are listening. I had to reassure my son that he was just as good as anybody. So, if we raise our children to be nice to one another we wouldn’t have the race problem. Period!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ll join the chorus to say, “Amen, sister!”

    The culture I grew up in was mostly white, of western European origins. Yet, Mennonites in my community accepted all skin tones and cultures. My aunt opened her doors to refugees no matter their color: African, Vietnamese, Filipino, and Middle Eastern. Though I’ve not met most of my blog readers, they’re as varied as can be. Some of them are RRBC members: Pat, Robbie, and John.

    I could not have said it better, Nonnie: “The shade of your skin doesn’t matter to me – what’s in your heart and how you treat me and your fellow man, does.” Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. HI Nonnie “Saying “I don’t see color,” doesn’t mean that I don’t see that you’re black, or you’re white, or you’re Hispanic, or that you’re Asian… it simply means, the shade of your skin doesn’t matter to me – what’s in your heart and how you treat me and your fellow man, does.” This is exactly how I understand this statement. I remember having a discussion with a black colleague a few years back and telling him that in the UK you must refer to a ‘person of colour’. He was astonished and asked why because he is black and was proud of that fact and perfectly happy in his skin. I sometimes think of his reaction when people are going on about all these points, and smile about his astonishment and genuine wonder.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Good Morning, Madam President,
    I live in a country where the native language is not English, and the skin color of most people is light. I go to a church that had only one dark-colored person for the longest time, and that was me. One day, again, some time ago, I was pleasantly surprised that the people in my village and my church didn’t see me as American nor as colored. They have taken me into their hearts and see me as German. Even though I must say that my German is nowhere from perfect, and sometimes my German grammar stinks, they still see me as one of them, and that’s a good feeling. I don’t have to defend who I am and what I am.
    Thank you for this very timely article.
    Shalom aleichem

    Liked by 7 people

  6. When I was a child, my best friend was a girl named Karen. She lived a few houses away and we were inseparable for a couple of years. We were the same age, with the same name, but our skins were different colors. Did we see color? In the literal sense, I guess we did, because we realized that our tongues were the same color and we laughed about it so many times. What can I say? We were kids! My point is that, although we didn’t figure it out it at the time, we understood that we are really all the same. So, no. I don’t see color.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Most of us sit and wring out hands in despair, trying to figure out what can we do? I ask why all the time and close my eyes, try to calm down and find an answer. This is not the world I want to live in. Its not the country I thought it was. Guns have taken over and it makes no sense. I don’t know if the tide is turning. It didn’t turn the tide during the Sandy Hooks Massacre and those babies were mostly white children. So what’s it going to take to get common sense gun legislation? Somebody tell me please. I love your post Nonnie. Thank you for giving us something to thank about.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Why? Because politicians are in charge and the first objective of any elected official is to get re-elected. Rather than adhere to the will of those who elected them, they play an “us vs. them” game in order to posture for the next election.

    There is a lot that can be done, but neither side has been convinced to back off of their position just enough to meet in the middle. It starts with the first concession and once that begins, real solutions follow. Meanwhile, we wait.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Why, you ask? Because of power, money, and greed. The same people who refuse to do anything are the same ones who are restricting abortions of any kind because they have no problem restricting a woman’s autonomy over her own body under the pretense of saving babies’ lives but they won’t put common sense restrictions that NINETY percent of Americans want on guns to actually SAVE the lives of those already living in our country. And it is an American problem. No other country has this issue. None.

    Those 90% of Americans need to make this November election one in which they only vote for candidates who are willing to create common sense gun restrictions. This has been going on too long. In two years, they can go back to voting for whatever party and issues they want, but until the voters are willing to show the politicians that their job is to represent us and fight for our safety, then the politicians will keep wiping their butts with what voters want.

    I’ve seen memes going around about how getting a gun should have the same regulations as getting to drive a car and another one that to get a gun, a person should have to go through what a woman who wants an abortion has to go through. I believe people have a right to own a gun, whether for protection or sport. I do not agree that any person outside of a military role should have the right to own a gun built for war.

    As a teacher who has to practice the active shooter drill every month in her classroom, I am TIRED of listening to politicians spew garbage about needing more securities in school or armed teachers. Those same politicians don’t even provide enough money to public education to pay teachers a decent salary, but they want us to find money for better security? Give me a break!

    (Deeeeeeeeeeeep breath)

    Sorry for my rant. Teachers are leaving the field in droves for so many reasons, but this is one of them. It is past time for voters to pull away from political parties and, for just once, make a statement for one 2-year term and vote for people who will make a real difference in protecting the lives of the innocent.

    Okay, rant over. Great poem, Nonnie! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yvette, your (rant)… uh, I mean comment (LOL) was almost as long as my poem, which my child kept saying to me, “Mommy, wrap it up already.” But I couldn’t – not until it stopped on its own.

      All funnies aside, your comment was so thoughtful and on point. Every single thought touched on topics that I am so tired of finding underneath rugs they have been swept under. Thank you for being brave enough to speak on the abortion topic that some are so quick to try and dismiss. Don’t tell me how to raise my kids and don’t tell me what I can and cannot do with my own body. It is my right to choose, and it is also my personal business, which isn’t ever up for discussion or debate in any arena.

      I have so many family members and friends (you included) who are teachers, and when something like this happens, my chest tightens up as I rush to see what part of the world this has taken place in, and then, heaving a big sigh of thanks and relief, when I learn it’s not hit me so close to home – yet.

      I have cried every day since this shooting happened as I did with all the others in the past. My heart breaks for these parents and then I’m thankful my own children are no longer on school campuses, although I had this same fear when they were away on college campuses.

      Where are our kids safe? Tell me… where? If they can’t even go to school and feel safe, where can they go? If we can’t even go into the market and feel safe, where can we go? If people can’t even go to church and feel safe as they worship, where can they go?

      WAKE UP, PEOPLE! We can change things!

      I can’t say any more than I have already. Everyone knows my position and now they know yours. Let’s see who else will chime in with “their” position on this huge issue.

      Friends, we’re listening.

      Thanks for chiming in, Yvette!

      Liked by 3 people

  10. I will add another why. Why is it an amendment that includes the phrase “a well regulated militia,” written when guns were muzzle loaders that took 45 seconds to a full minute to re-load, unlike today’s weapons of war, takes precedent over our children? The Founding Fathers had no idea that weaponry would advance technologically to the point they have today. No one who’s not in the military or on the police force should not have access to these weapons. No one. My father collected and shot muzzle loaders. I know how difficult they were to handle. Yet they killed hundreds of thousands in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Eighteen-year olds should not have access to these weapons. My late father, who was a champion shot with muzzle loaders, would tell these people if they need such weapons to hit a target, they need to go to the rifle range and really learn how to shoot. I never learned to shoot; my sisters did. I have never understood the attraction of guns. They are simply killing machines. Our collective hearts get broken too much.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Wow, Nonnie, you put into words what so many of us are feeling. How can this type of tragedy keep happening again and again without action being taken by our elected officials? They are craven weasels and we should vote them all out! For those who would like to help push for a solution, here is a wonderful group: Every town for Gun Safety (everytown.org). Check them out!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Good Morning,
    At this very moment, I am living on a continent where the respect for life, liberty, and happiness has been severly damaged by the dropping of bombs and even as some suspect, the use of chemical warfare. Your poem Why brought tears to my eyes. The respect for the right to breathe as human beings is slowly being taken away from us. We have to stand up and let our voices be heard by whatever legal methods that we can use.
    Shalom aleichem

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Pat and Karen are beautiful souls, and I love that you shared your thoughts about them with us, Nonnie! Trust is everything to me. I am hesitant to give it to people and tend to give it a little at a time, and when someone betrays that trust, it is never really earned again. Very few make into my inner circle of trust. I’m quite guarded with my heart. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. HI Nonnie, thank you for this lovely shout out for Karen and Pat. Two lovely ladies with big hearts. It is true that we need to be careful when using social media and the internet. I must say that I have suffered far greater breaches of trust by people close to me than people I’ve met through WP and social media. I agree that it is better to know when there is bad feeling among relatives and friends so that you are forewarned.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Robbie! I’m sorry to hear that you have had that experience with those close to you (family and friends). I can’t say that I can relate to that – and I’m glad that I can’t. Betrayal is betrayal, no matter where it comes from.

      Thanks for dropping in!

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Hi Nonnie. What a sincere heartfelt commentary. I appreciate you taking your time to share your sentiments. I am glad they are part of your team. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. You’ve made some great points about trust, Nonnie, and I love that you expressed your trust in the ladies you’ve teamed up with to produce the Pipeline. Broken trust is not easily mended, and these days, we must be careful about whom we trust.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Yes, my dear, Nonnie, trust is important. It needs to be earned and once broken, it can never be the same.

    I read your “President’s Thoughts” for the first time just now. I am humbled by your kind words and appreciate your confidence. Our PIPELINE team is a dream team and the mutual support among us is the reason. But more important to me than the production of what I believe to be an excellent magazine, is the relationship and the trust that has developed among the three of us. It is an honor to call you and Pat friends. Your trust is safe with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Good Morning, Nonnie,
    This brought tears to my eyes. I am deeply humbled because I didn’t expect it. You’re a hardworking woman and you demand a lot. I praise God for that because I would never find out what I am capable of doing, if you didn’t push me. It is so good to work with and for you. The team and The PIPLELINE means a lot to me. ti is my pleasure to be one of the people in your boat.
    God bless you and take care.
    Shalom aleichem

    Like

    • Hi, Pat! Yes, I am demanding – my mom says I came out that way (and so proud of that), but it is only in that, that I can bring out the best in others and the best in myself, as well. I demand more from me than I do anyone around me. I like for things to be done correctly and in order… always. Shabby work and performance to me is a sign of laziness and is a direct reflection on who you are as a person, and Nonnie doesn’t do shabby in any form or fashion. It’s almost perfect or it is not at all coming from me and my camp.

      I listened to Iyanla Vanzant say to the Braxton family once, “I don’t do excuses.” I’m of like-mind with Ms. Vanzant. (I hope I’m spelling her name correctly).

      Thanks, Pat! You’re treasured and appreciated for who you are and how you are 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Good Morning, Nonnie,
    I was so surprised and shaken up by your message on trust, that I put my comment on the front page of the magazine. I will correct that and copy it here. Please delete the comment on the front cover.

    Shalom aleichem

    Like

  20. Nonnie, thank you for your heartfelt message and the reminder to embrace positivity for the new year. I smiled when I read your “resolutions,” because there are a good number of them (you set your sights high, as we all know!) and because I did the same thing when I wrote mine. But running through yours there is that thread of positivity. It’s another way of making the world a better place, and it’s good for ourselves, too. A positive outlook is a healthy choice! Thanks again for your words!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Maura Beth! Yes, high achiever on board here! My sights are always set high… I hope to always encourage others to set their sights high, as well. Why low-ball yourself in this life? Live out loud and live your best life any chance you get!

      Like

  21. #GVO indeed! So much negativity in the world, so many people angry with one another–but if we can spread #GVO, think of the progress we can make in our own little ways. Around Christmas time, I found myself watching Hallmark movies because I simply couldn’t take all the negativity in the world. Yes, they’re all formulaic and have the same endings. (But wow, what if I could write one and earn a ton of money? Hmmm…) But positive endings and people who actually seemed to like one another! And no pandemic in sight!

    I recently saw a sign in a store advising employees to be kind to everyone because every person you meet is bearing a weight of some kind, and no one with whom you come in contact with knows each other’s back story. It’s great to apply the #GVO approach to.

    Thanks, Nonnie, for being there, for being you, and for always wanting the best out of us as writers and human beings. That’s what we should all want from each other. You set the standard. And that’s why we love being here.

    Like

    • Hi, Wanda! I’m glad that the standard is noticed. It is so for a reason. I don’t do mediocre and I choose not to accept mediocrity being spread around me. If you want to spread something, it ought to be the fire inside that pushes us to chase our dreams with a vengeance and then make them all come true.

      Thank you for being you, Wanda!

      Like

  22. Wonderful message, Nonnie! Being positive has not always been easy for me (shhh… don’t tell anyone… I hide it well). 😉 Having anxiety and a strong, negative inner voice crippled me for years. I’ve been fortunate enough to find the right kind of help to teach me the strategies I needed to bring me into the #GVO circle. Mindfulness plays a large role in keeping me grounded and allowing me the space to create positive energy. Emotional frequency tapping, meditation, and therapy talk also help. Happiness is a choice, but for some, it’s a struggle to make that choice. For those who are struggling, I hope they embrace your words and strive to make baby steps in the right direction. Every baby step should be celebrated because each one gradually brings people to inner peace and self-love, which are both forms of happiness. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yvette, I’m happy to know that you sought out and found just the help you needed to help you keep those crippling anxieties at bay. Positivity is a choice, but I want to make something crystal clear – when you’re standing in your truth and making observations and speaking that truth, don’t let anyone tell you that you’re being negative. People need to understand the difference. I love positivity. I preach it, I practice it, I live it, but on the flip side of that, I like calling a spade a spade and if that means that I must point out nonsense, so be it. I’m not going to worry (or care) that someone might view that as me being negative.

      Remember, if they don’t feed me, clothe me, shelter or love me, their opinion of me matters not to me.

      Thanks for dropping by, Yvette!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Hi Nonnie,

    I love the theme Good Vibes Only. There is enough negativity in our world right now, we don’t need to contribute to more in what should be our “safe space.” We are obviously all connected by our love of writing and reading. For me, that space is my passion and my outlet for creativity. I want to do my best to encourage and support everyone in their creative quest.

    Have a great day!

    Joy

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Nonnie, you never cease to amaze me. In fact, you remind me of a preacher standing in front of the congregation giving his [her] message-filled sermon. Afterward, those hearing the words leave with a much better attitude and try to implement the suggestions. There’s still time left to add a white-collar to your many accolades. Keep delivering! Amen!

    Liked by 1 person

    • While collar, John? Let me think about it. I’m pretty sure I can squeeze it in and be tops at it, at that!

      Thanks for dropping by, my friend 🙂 Your kind words always keep me lifted!

      Like

  25. Wow, Nonnie, you said a mouth full. I can appreciate your words of wisdom and may adopt a few of my own. I tend to not make resolutions because I always fail. One thing I will do, is see a project through once I commit to it.

    My work ethic is good although there is room for improvement there. I’ve gained too much weight sitting around trying to deal with the pandemic. I feel like staying home more than I used to. Don’t know if that’s a good thing or not.

    Anyway, I’m rambling. I’ll close this by saying to you, “Congratulations on producing this wonderful magazine. Be very good to yourself because that is what I intend to do for me.

    Peace!”

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Thanks, Nonnie. Following your advice will not only make us better people, it will improve the lives of people we come in contact with. Joy is as contagious as gloom, and as both are choices, we should always choose joy. It makes life a lot easier to bear, especially during hard times, and it uplifts those who are also going through challenges.

    One of my favorite Bible verses is Philippians 4:8 (ESV). “Finally, brothers [and sisters], whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Sometimes, it’s a hard verse to swallow, but putting it into practice gets easier the more often we choose to do it. Like exercise.

    So, I’m sending good vibes to you and everyone reading this, along with my prayers for a year full of blessings and joy.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Hi Nonnie, this is a great post and a wonderful message for the new year. I like the idea of good vibes only. It is so true what you said about people projecting certain emotions and attitudes like depression and then receiving it back. If you smile and project happiness it usually is returned to you. Have a wonderful rest of the week.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Pat and I double-teamed you, Nonnie, and I am pleased that we succeeded! The PIPELINE readers are the winners and will benefit from your thoughts.

    “Good vibes only” reminds me of something I was taught as a child, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.” That goal, overall, has served me well. Onward!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Karen! Yes, you two did gang up on me, but you know what, I’m glad you did. It felt good to share this at the start of our new year. I do hope it helps many. If we all get on board with giving the world the best version of ourselves, oh, what a wonderful world this would be!

      Thank you, my friend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Dear Nonnie,
    I like having your thoughts available here to refer to during the month and ongoing as the Internet is like info forever. I think a list of mandates, guidelines, to do’s, or whatever tag should belong there are important for each person to consider. I typically do a list in December and refer to it throughout the year. You have made me add a couple of items-thank you. Take care and enjoy everyday in everyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. HI Madam President,
    What a way to start the year! Good Vibes Only.
    You’ve preached a much needed sermon.
    I have Denzel’s speech saved on YouTube. It’s a heavy message that always lifts me up whenever I listen to it.
    Thank you so much for your thoughts.
    Shalom aleichem

    Liked by 1 person

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