Hope Wissel, Personal Causes

Happy Halloween

happy halloween

Halloween, the time of year when we get to dress in costume and pretend to be someone or something else. I can remember going trick or treating when I as growing up with lots of friends. It was a big deal to dress up and collect as much candy as possible. I wanted it to be a fun time for my daughter, Belinda as well but from an early age, this fun night turned into something totally different. We laugh about it now but I know that it has left an impression on her that caused her to dislike Halloween and “masked” people even now at the ripe age of 26.

Our first trip to Disney, Belinda was about 18 months old. I think my mom and I were more excited then Belinda for her first trip on an airplane AND her first of many Disney trips. In a nutshell, Belinda screamed every time she saw a Disney character come near her. She was happy to see them at a distance but did not want them to be close to her. They were BIG, SCARY creatures. To say the least, there are no pictures of my daughter hugging Mickey.

Every Halloween, Belinda dressed in costume and did the trick or treat thing. We did the mall thing sometimes because Belinda wasn’t a big candy eater and the local mall gave out stickers and other items for the kids. Belinda also managed to always get Edythe, Elsie and I to dress up. I can remember one year – we were all ducks. It was rather comical to see 3 grown adults walking around in all yellow sweats with foam web feet and caps made to look like beaks. No, there are no pictures of that fateful night.

Fast forward again when Belinda was trick or treating with her best friend Jen Loder (Otepka). Halloween in Jen’s neighborhood was a BIG deal. The kids dressed in costumes, the houses were decorated and even the adults got into the spirit of things. It was Belinda’s first year spending the holiday in their neighborhood. Rich dressed in costume, came out of the darkness and scared the kids. Now, he did this every year so most of the kids knew it would be coming sometime during the night. No one bothered to tell Belinda about this Halloween tradition. Rich jumped out from behind a tree shaking his chains and dressed in costume. To say the least, Belinda screamed and ran to Jen’s parents who quickly tried to convince her all was well. Rich apologized but it became the talk of the neighborhood how he had managed to scare her. From then on, when Belinda did Halloween at Jen’s, she was watching for him but she was never ready for him to scare her.

Masked people, large characters and scary/ haunted events were on Belinda’s list of things NOT to do which is funny because she ALWAYS watched the “Nightmare on Elm Street” series at home with my friend April when she was young. Great Halloween memories. What are your favorite Halloween memories growing up or with your children? Share them with us or share pictures of your BEST Halloween costume

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

#partywithHope

#HopeWs31

Hope Wissel

Happy Halloween

happy halloween

Halloween, the time of year when we get to dress in costume and pretend to be someone or something else.  I can remember going trick or treating when I as growing up with lots of friends.  It was a big deal to dress up and collect as much candy as possible. I wanted it to be a fun time for my daughter, Belinda as well but from an early age, this fun night turned into something totally different.  We laugh about it now but I know that it has left an impression on her that caused her to dislike Halloween and “masked” people even now at the ripe age of 25.

Our first trip to Disney, Belinda was about 18 months old.  I think my mom and I were more excited then Belinda for her first trip on an airplane AND her first of many Disney trips. In a nutshell, Belinda screamed every time she saw a Disney character come near her.  She was happy to see them at a distance but did not want them to be close to her.  They were BIG, SCARY creatures.  To say the least, there are no pictures of my daughter hugging Mickey.

Every Halloween, Belinda dressed in costume and did the trick or treat thing.  We did the mall thing sometimes because Belinda wasn’t a big candy eater and the local mall gave out stickers and other items for the kids.  Belinda also managed to always get Edythe, Elsie and I to dress up.  I can remember one year – we were all ducks.  It was rather comical to see 3 grown adults walking around in all yellow sweats with foam web feet and caps made to look like beaks.  No, there are no pictures of that fateful night.

Fast forward again when Belinda was trick or treating with her best friend Jen Loder.  Halloween in Jen’s neighborhood was a BIG deal.  The kids dressed in costumes, the houses were decorated and even the adults got into the spirit of things. It was Belinda’s first year spending the holiday in their neighborhood.  Rich dressed in costume, came out of the darkness and scared the kids.  Now, he did this every year so most of the kids knew it would be coming sometime during the night.  No one bothered to tell Belinda about this Halloween tradition.  Rich jumped out from behind a tree shaking his chains and dressed in costume.  To say the least, Belinda screamed and ran to Jen’s parents  who quickly tried to convince her all was well.  Rick apologized but it became the talk of the neighborhood how he had managed to scare her.  From then on, when Belinda did Halloween at Jen’s, she was watching for him but she was never ready for him to scare her.

Masked people, large characters and scary/ haunted events were on Belinda’s list of things NOT to do which is funny because she ALWAYS watched the “Nightmare on Elm Street” series at home with my friend April when she was young.  Great Halloween memories.  What are your favorite Halloween memories growing up or with your children?  Share them with us or share pictures of your BEST Halloween costume

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

#hope

 

Hope Wissel

Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day!  Today’s post is dedicated to those men and women who give their lives so that we may enjoy the freedoms that we have in this country.

Growing up Memorial Day was just another day off from school.  As a Girl Scout, we marched in the parades but the true significance of the day was beyond my understanding.  The Vietnam War (okay so I am showing my age) brought to light some of what the day meant but still it didn’t touch my heart.  My dad and step-dad both served in the military – I have listed to their tales but yet it never really sunk in.  

At the start of “Operation Freedom” some 10 plus years ago, the commitment of the men and women in the military as well as that of their families HIT HOME!  Stephanie’s husband, Bill,  was being deployed for what they said would be about 30 days.  Stephanie and I had been friends since our daughters, Jen and Belinda, met in pre-school so I was willing to help in any way possible.  There were the 3 boys – Sean, Ryan and Shane as well as Jen who were all in school, active in various activities and not really understanding what would be dad’s first deployment.  The days leading up to Bill’s leaving were filled with lots of paperwork – wills, living wills, etc.  The weeks after Bill left were full of emotions – tears, anger, frustration – it was just too hard for the kids to understand that dad wouldn’t be home for awhile.  A 30 day deployment turned into 6 months.  Tough times for everyone – financially and emotionally.  

When Bill returned home, we all attended the next Memorial Day parade together.  It took on a whole new meaning for me as well as for the kids.  It wasn’t just about a day off from work or school, it was a day to honor those who sacrifice their lives daily for us whether here or abroad. I am grateful for the men and women in the military, past, present and future who give their all so that we can live in freedom.  The battle scars of war worn by these men and women are not always seen for the emotional toll that it takes on them and their families leaves a permanent mark.  On the outside, all may be well but on the inside they carry the memories that will haunt them forever.  

If you see someone in the military – stop and thank them, let them know that you appreciate what they are doing for this country.  Check out my blog “Coupons for Our Troops” on a way that you can help our military families by simply cutting coupons.  As the sun rises on Memorial Day,  STOP and say a prayer asking for the safety of our men and women near and far who serve this country.  Yes, you may have the day off from work or school and you may be able to enjoy barbecues with friends and family – but there are those in the military who don’t get a day off.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.