Grateful Heart Monday

It’s Grateful Heart Monday, and today I’m starting my week off by showing a little gratitude for the evening I had on this year’s Halloween.

There are two holidays I look forward to the most during any given year, one of course is Christmas, but the other is Halloween and that’s mostly because I grew up enjoying not just getting a big haul of chocolate, but also because I like haunted houses, scary things, and cool costumes. Ironically though, none of those things are what I am most grateful for this year, given that I didn’t wear any costume, nor eat any chocolate, nor visit any amazing haunted house.

Rather, I’m extremely thankful for this Halloween because we finally had one where it wasn’t utterly cold, downpouring, or exceptionally windy. You see, the weather here in Toledo, especially in my neighborhood that’s a mere hop, skip, and jump from Lake Erie can often be rather chaotic. Over the past four years, we’ve had very little trick-or-treaters, all because it wasn’t pleasant enough to even be outside for any length of time for anyone, which thankfully wasn’t the case this year.

Instead, the weather was a cool 50 degrees, yet no wind, and no rain, leaving a perfect evening to put my firepit out in the middle of my driveway so that I could enjoy not only my last bonfire of the season, but also to add more of that Halloween ambience for those going door to door to enjoy as well.

This year we entertained approximately 115 trick-or-treaters, which was frankly astounding. I got to see many cool costumes because of it and ultimately was able to appreciate a holiday that I do try to put some work into with my own decorating inside and outside my home, which many of those trick-or-treating complimented on.

I was also quite grateful when one of my neighbor’s kids came over with his wife and daughter and sat with us at our fire for a bit. I always thought they didn’t like me because they never said two words to me anytime I waved and said hi. So, that was a big blessing for me as well.

In addition to that, several of the parents out walking with their kids told me that my yard was the nicest in the neighborhood and that they always appreciated the hard work I put into it. That alone was well worth the many hours I spent heading into Halloween cutting it and cleaning up yard debris and leaves.

On a final note of gratitude, and honestly, the most important to me, I feel the need to mention that I prayed for weeks ahead of Halloween, asking God to help the trick-or-treaters this year in our area to have the perfect night of weather, given how bad it’s been in prior years. When we ended up actually getting good weather, I was able to not only feel some joy on an evening that I haven’t had much of in previous years, but also experienced some moments of peace as well, as I sat around the fire with my partner and felt a little more connected to God, something I haven’t felt much of in a good, long, while.

So, as Halloween has now come and gone for yet another year, I at least am filled with good memories and gratitude and a lot of thankfulness for my Higher Power…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson