History of Halloween

It’s that time of year again… That time of candy corn and haunted houses.  Of grinning pumpkins and costumed kiddies.  Of nocturnal creatures and creepy critters, monsters, skeletons, and ghosts.

I have very fond memories of celebrating Halloween as a child.  Picking out the pumpkin that would adorn our front stoop was a task to which I proudly lent my assistance, as my family and I would drive to one of our local patches or stands to select the one that possessed the most uniform shape, the brightest color, and the largest size.  Picking out my costume was also a fun task; it was sometimes store-bought, sometimes scrounged together from miscellaneous household garments and accoutrements, and, on one rare occasion (my dalmatian year), handmade by my mom.  Trick-or-treating, of course, is the prime attraction of Halloween for most kids.  But perhaps just as fun for me was the “after party” at my house.  My brother and I loved spilling out our sugary spoils on the living room floor, and then, after carefully dividing the candies into groups and counting up our individual totals, we’d make trades—my green and yellow Skittles for his reds and purples, a pack of Gobstoppers for a Twizzler or two, and so on.  And then we’d drink hot apple cider and watch a rented copy of Hocus Pocus while we discussed our favorite costumes of the night. Continue reading

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Light Playing on Polyvinyl Chloride

Last week, Eric and I went to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.  Unfortunately, a lot of the museum’s American art was not open for viewing, due to the construction of a new wing scheduled to open next month.  But Eric and I hit up all the European galleries, as well as a few of the special exhibitions, like Avedon Fashion 1944-2000 and Millet and Rural France.  I plan on going back November 20 for the museum’s Community Open House so that I can look through the museum’s other collections.

Now, I love art museums—so many people and landscapes and ideas depicted in different mediums and colors and styles.  I love all the different ways there are to represent reality, or to reshape it, distort it, or reject it, even.  I also love art for its evocative powers, for its ability to conjure up memories and mental associations and emotions.  And also simply for its ability to display beauty.  Museum-going is always an overwhelming experience, precisely because there is so much substance to be seen and experienced.  So as not to completely stress yourself, there are those pieces you just kind of brush by with a polite, obligatory glance (you know what you like, what captivates you, so you’re allowed to be an instant judge), and then there are those pieces that stop you in your tracks and compel you to stare at them and to contemplate them, or to simply enjoy them, for minutes on end.  And then you leave the museum with their impression on your mind. Continue reading

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‘Behold, thou art fair, my love’

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The Giver, Commander, and Doer of All Things Good

“God is great, God is good.
And we thank Him for our food.
By His goodness, we all are fed.
Give us, Lord, our daily bread.”

When I was a child, I used to recite this little prayer before meals.  A mix of praise, thanks, and supplication, all contained within four short lines, which I would rattle off in a predictably anapestic meter every time I was selected to “say grace.”

Growing up, God’s goodness was always something that I acknowledged both implicitly and explicitly.  I sang “God is So Good” on Sunday mornings (“He’s so good to me”); I called Him “good” in my prayers; I read stories from the Bible about all the good things God has accomplished; and I knew that no matter what happened to me, it was for my own good, because God works all things together for good to them that love Him (Romans 8:28). Continue reading

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St. Lucia, the Beautiful

So, I finally uploaded the photos that my husband, Eric, and I took on our honeymoon to St. Lucia.  Here are just a few:

View from our balcony at the Windjammer Landing. Continue reading

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Wretch Turned Treasure: or, Miserable no more

This past weekend, I watched the 1998 film Les Miserables for the umpteenth time.  It’s a historical drama set in early 19th-century France and based on the novel by Victor Hugo.  Yes, it definitely has elements of melodrama (its efforts to evoke viewer sentiment are glaringly obvious), but the story really is compelling.  One of the reasons the film has always intrigued me is because its central theme of redemption beautifully pictures the biblical story of mankind’s redemption through Christ.  Les Miserables is a story that seeks to discover the nature of man and, more subtly, the nature of God, by exploring such issues as sin, compassion, forgiveness, sacrifice, and reformation.  The conflict between justice and mercy, law and grace, is established in the very first scene, and it dominates the rest of the work.  Because the former is embodied by the antagonist and the latter by the protagonist, the film clearly promotes mercy and grace as the supreme virtues and more honorable life path—but not before examining the trade-offs. Continue reading

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Getting Started

This is my first blog.  Ever.  So let me start by introducing myself:

My name is Victoria Jones (formerly Hartz).  I am 22 years old, a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a resident of Boston.  I am a wife, a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a niece, and a friend.  But my primary identifier is:  adopted child of God the Father and passionate follower of His Son, the risen Lord Jesus Christ.  God is my Creator and Sustainer, my Redeemer and Friend, and I love Him dearly.  All that I have and all that I am, I owe to Him.

At first I was hesitant to start a blog because I didn’t think anyone would care to read it, save maybe my mom.  My life really isn’t that interesting, and my thoughts surely are not that profound.  Has my time for blogging come and gone?  In college, I was constantly challenged and stimulated; I was growing leaps and bounds—in terms of knowledge, character, insight, and experience—learning new things daily, doing new things daily.  My mind was always busy and active.  It would have been an ideal time to have been communicating to the virtual world, sharing with it the knowledge I was acquiring, telling stories of my adventures and misadventures as an undergraduate. Continue reading

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