Every year, the hordes descend upon our neighborhood. We live in the flats, with houses that are located right up close to the street. So veritable van loads of children, dressed up in their Halloween finery, tromp up our driveway. Multitudes of Batmen & Cinderellas, mini-Freddie Kreugers, and legions of petite little fairies. You'd think it was the Castro.
But it's not. We're in El Cajon. James Dobson of Focus on the Family got his start here at Shadow Mountain Church, not much more than three miles or so from our house.
For the most part, El Cajon is a conservative, family-oriented community, so every year we go through a dozen or more big bags of candy. M&M's, Snickers, Milky Way, Crunch Bars, and Smarties. This year, for the first time, we handed out Snyders mini-pretzels along with the candy. They proved to be especially popular with the six to seven year old kids. It makes me wonder if enabling the salt / sugar cycle should be a crime.
I love to get the kids yelling:
Kid(s), mumbling: trick or treat
Me: I can't hear you.
Kid(s): Trick or Treat.
Me: I still can't hear you.
Kid(s): TRICK OR TREAT!
Me: That's more like it!
Then I hand out two or three pieces of candy to each smiling child. Most, if not all, laugh & even say "Thank you"--which is one of the benefits of being in a family-oriented community.
This year, though, we've got extra candy laying around the house--four bags of it. That's four more than we usually have left. Most years, I have to run out to the store to buy a couple of extra bags. This year, however, Steven, his mom, & I actually watched groups of kids being led past our house. Several times we heard "Let's go to the next house." I hope it's not the two "No on 8" signs in the yard, which would be too bad for the kids: the neighbors on both sides of us weren't home tonight.
Unfortunately, East County San Diego is a hotbed of support for Prop 8. The Caster Family is based in El Cajon. Funded by their A-1 Storage franchises, the Caster Family Enterprises and their Family Discipleship Ministries, they are some of the largest private donors to the Yes on 8 campaign.
Which leads to my question for the Halloweenies that walked past the house without stopping:
If you walked past the house because of your beliefs, what are you doing out celebrating a pagan holiday?
I'm just asking.
On the other hand, more than once, we heard people comment:
"Look, they have 'No on 8' signs in their yard! Cool."
So there may be hope for at least some of the kids.