Wednesday, October 31, 1979


It was the fall of the year of 1979 and a week or so before Halloween. This particular year Halloween fell on Monday and that was the weeklyFamily Home Evenings night. We insisted that our children attended that event. We put sincere effort into having a quality Home Evening that would help us grow close together and be of interest to the entire family. That was often difficult because of the wide range in age of our children. We insisted that our children attended that event. As parents, we put sincere effort into having a quality Family Home Evening that would help us to grow close together and be of interest to the entire family and one that every one would enjoy. That was often difficult because of the wide range in age of our children. However, we took at face value the promise of Pres. David O. McKay, that family Home Evening would strengthen and improve our family.
Traditionally Halloween is a time of Trick or Treat. None the less, in the minds of many young people, however, I was very cognizant of the fact it seems to be a time for mischief-making. I guess the words “Trick or Treat” connotes legal approval for destruction or Tom-Foolery. I was also well aware my teenage sons were totally capable and desirous of fun and the thrill that can be gained from pushing propriety to the limit.
For small children, “Trick or Treat” is a festive occasion to visit the homes of the neighbors and receive treats. They are cute in the costumes they wear and it is fun to see them as they come to our home. We were very happy to give a treat to any age that came to the door, even the teenager who came around with a pillow case to collect their yummies. That was just fine with us and we were perfectly happy to give them a treat. On the other hand, I was justly concerned about my teenage sons and their energetic, sometimes spontaneous and at times unwise youthful actions. I was also aware they wanted to have fun with their friends.
I had given thought and consideration to alternative choices for our Family Home Evening on Halloween. I had not come to a definite decision when Wesley ask me if he could go out with his buddies on Halloween evening. “Absolutely not!” I replied emphatically. “We are going to hold
Family Home Evening.
“Oh sure, and just what are we going to do?” he snapped.
“Well, young man, we are going El Azteka and have dinner as a family,” I replied.
I hadn’t really thought that over clearly, those words just came out of my mouth. Wesley looked shocked and he gazed straight into my face to see if I was serious. My unwavering body language told him that I was very resolute in what I had just stated. We never went out to eat because there was not that surplus of money.
There was no further comment between Wesley and myself and I was left to ponder what I had committed to. How could we possible go to dinner? We didn’t go out for hamburgers as a family, unless it was a special occasion, because it was just too expensive. Now for us to take the whole family to dinner was unheard of. Because of the limited funds, it was a rare occurrence for us to do such a thing. But, I had given my word, and go we would! I always kept my word.
I began to figure and re-figure the budget. Finally, the cost was covered and everything was going to be fine and dandy or so I thought. A day or so later, John and James Melville came in the house with our sons, Wesley and Kerry. James and John were cute boys and very good friend of our sons. These boys were always doing things together.
“Oh Mom,” Kerry said excitedly, “Guess what? James and John can go to dinner with us.”
Yes!” Wesley chimed in, “their mother gave permission for them to go. What time will we leave?”
The boys were all happy over the prospect of an enjoyable time together.
“Well,” I replied in bewilderment, “we will leave at 6:30 P. M. on Monday.”
Oh great! Now what do I do? Two more dinners to pay for! I knew my budget would really need to be worked over, Big Time! Throughout the remaining days before Halloween, the boys chatted and were excited about the upcoming special event. There was no more taIk of going out with friends on Halloween night. I prayed the night would go smoothly and be a pleasurable, bonding, loving experience for our entire family, friends and all.
The appointed night came and time arrived for us to leave. We all got into the car and Dad drove to the El Azteka Restaurant. The restaurant was located on 900 East and 950 North Provo, Utah. It was located right near the B. Y. U. The night was cold and chilly, but, inside the restaurant we were warm and cozy. There was a bright fire burning in the large fireplace. They
had a highchair for Rett, the baby ,to sit in. And, Dad as he always did, put the highchair next to him so he could help and care for Rett.
The evening was very lovely and special. Better than I could have ever wished for. The meal was delicious and the family enjoyed the Mexican food. A fun part of the meal was the tasty water melon punch. The boys were interested in the taste and so surprised to find the drink very delicious. We had never had that kind of treat before. In fact, I had never heard of watermelon punch prior to that night.
The boy’s were real gentlemen and their actions were above reproach. They laughed and talked and had a wonderful social evening. They even tried on the Mexican hats that were
setting around the room for decorations. The owners, a husband and wife, came out and visited with the family in a warm friendly way. The proprietors were cute and interested in the children especially the older boys.
I sat back and observed the whole scene. It was wonderful to have the family enjoying a unique, special evening. I was grateful to the Lord for our outstanding Family Home Evening. As the years have come and gone, I do not remember the hurt or squeeze of spending the money, but, I certainly have a picture forever in my mind of our family having a warm, lovely time together. This was a memorable experience to treasure in the heart for the rest of our lives.