School is reopening after being closed for a week due to Hurricane Sandy. Coach Campbell is out front, taking big bags of garbage out to the dumpster as some of the “Can Do” Kids walk up and call out…
“Hey Coach! Whatch’ya doing?
“Hey guys,” answers Coach. “I am just about finished cleaning up the yard out back, lots of tree branches came down during the hurricane. The yard had to be cleared, and made safe, before we can go back there and play.
How are you guys? Did you make it through Hurricane Sandy OK?”
Hector answered first, saying, “Yeah, I’m OK. We lost electricity for a while, that was horrible. No computer, no TV. Ugh!
Arthur J. added, “My grandmother’s basement flooded, but she is OK.”
Then Katie chimed in, “The hurricane ruined our Halloween trick or treating!!”
Coach smiled and said, “Well now, I am glad you all made it through OK, and if missing Halloween trick or treating is the worst of it, then you were lucky. Lots of folks lost everything.”
“Delmar was fine, said Coach. “He didn’t like the big winds too much, but once he was back inside, he settled down and was his normal self.
Orrie asked, “Did Delmar have Halloween?”
Coached chuckled and said, “As a matter of fact, he sort of did. No trick or treating, but he went to a local kids Halloween parade. He wore his special pumpkin sweater too.”
Bobby butted in asking, “Did he have fun? Did he get any treats?”
Coach answered, “Oh sure, tons of fun, but no treats. Candy is no good for puppies, and chocolate is a huge NO-NO. Dogs are allergic to chocolate, so no Halloween treats for Delmar.
But, that’s OK, I think he enjoyed sniffing all of the downed tree branches a lot more than the parade. I mean, when else can you sniff the top of a tree without having to climb the tree?”
“Ha, ha…good one Coach,” said Bobby. “Did you take any pictures?”
Coach nodded saying, “Oh boy, you bet I did.”
Bobby looked at Coach’s pictures and said, “Wow, that’s a lot of kids at the Halloween parade. Sure wish parts of my Halloween weren’t cancelled.”
Coach nodded and answered, “Well, that is tough. Halloween is a real fun holiday, but sometimes we don’t get to do what we want. Sometimes, we lose…and I don’t just mean losing as in playing a game.
You lost part of Halloween, but there will be next year, and many years after that of Halloween. Try to remember how lucky you are that you did not lose your home, your toys, or even you entire neighborhood.”
Hector nodded saying, “Yeah, I saw some pictures on TV. It looks real bad.”
Coach agreed, “It is, and in the coming months there will be lots of chances for you to help. Next week we are collecting clothes to send to those who lost their homes. Also, starting next week, you may see some new faces around here. Some kids that lost their schools will be coming to schools near here.”
The “Can Dos” all looked at each other and then seemed to all say at once, “Really, new kids?”
“Yup, and they will need new friends to help them out,” answered Coach.
Annie added, “Maybe we could have a Hurricane-Halloween Party?”
“You know, that might not be such a bad idea,” said Coach.
Coach left them with something to think about, asking, “What other ideas do you guys have about what we can do to help out the new kids coming to our school next week?”
Story by: Ned Campbell