My first memory of it was a Halloween party my mom threw, only she'd told me it was my birthday party. Dates didn't mean much to me in those days; my birthday is one day after Halloween and I just thought the idea of a party would be something fun.
Things began to go wrong when I was taking my turn at dunking for apples. My ears roared and the apple stayed out of reach every time my head went underwater. Determined, I plunged in again and found myself swooshing at least ten feet down before I landed with a bump.
Well, I won't bore you with too many details from that little mop-up. It took us awhile. Being my first time, no one expected much from me. Mostly I just growled a lot and stayed out of the way. I wasn't much use at first but got pretty good at squishing froggy-looking things toward the end.
And that was the first Halloween I remember. It's been pretty much the same ever since, only now I'm a group leader for the west central valley. My house sits directly on top of what we call a Gate and it is my job to keep that Gate closed all the time, but especially at Halloween, when the big ones try to come through.
Don't get me wrong: I don't do this alone. My old dog and cat have been with me for a long time, and of course we all have God.
This year is one of the big ones, and I was sent a partner. He brought his own help with him, a big yellow tabby with lots of experience.
I used to think I was best working as a loner, but man, I tell you, being teamed up with this one has opened my eyes. We start to work together and then this energy comes up and pretty soon it takes off -- Wham! I just about freak at the power of it. We'll keep that Gate closed this year for sure.
Right now though, we’re having just a little problem with timing. Neither of us is very good at working Team, so we argue a lot about who starts the count.
In fact, that’s where I am as I write this tonight. Timing gives us focus and that’s going to be mighty critical on this coming Halloween.
We've got time to train yet; it's only the end of August. Still, they're slithering around the edges of my dreams early this year. I can see them, but so far, nothing I can't handle alone.
Haven't worked out a way to convince Adam to let me lead in the dream state. His early training didn't include dream state battles and he's slower on the uptake. In my opinion, dreamed battles are some of the worst, but that's neither here nor there.
If we're going to team, him doing the outer and me doing the inner, we're going to have to learn to work smooth in each other's territories.
Sometimes I think it's almost like running a three-legged race, except this is the Frontier. This ain't no game.
I've asked God several times for an answer and He keeps telling me to work it out with Adam. In fact, the last time I asked, He suggested we both let go of old habits. Well, I don't know which old habits He meant, but I do know that somehow I have to get Adam to follow my count in the dream state.
That's my territory and I know how to defend it!
Maybe I should get him to try dunking for apples. That's how I learned.
Nope, other Teams have tried that before; something with the apple, or apple tree, not sure which. Anyway, it didn't work. God got really mad, as a matter of fact because it left so many Gates untended.