In 1971, when my father became a technical consultant with the UN in Baghdad, Iraq, the family had to move there and we children – including my elder brother and younger sister – travelled on an airplane for the first time. As a six-year-old, I was fascinated by the carousels – the restless lines of luggage moving like columns of marching ants.
Driving south on the Dallas North Tollway and thinking about that “Defender of the Faith” line again, I should have gone west, but I was in no particular hurry to get home, so I went south toward downtown instead. I drove through the triple underpass of Kennedy assassination fame and pulled up at an old warehouse near Dealy Plaza that had been renovated and now boasted high-dollar lofts and some offices. On the sixth floor were the offices of the Dallas Free Press, a weekly newspaper/tabloid that carried both insightful political commentary and ads for strip clubs and methadone clinics. My Uncle Zeke had been a writer there for the past 15 years, and since he worked bizarre hours, I knew he would be here even this late on a Saturday.
Review your parking lot safety. Warmer weather brings more people outdoors. Install crosswalk signs to show people where it’s safe to walk and to tell drivers what places are off limits.
Is there heating in the barns? Fire sprinklers? Are the sprinklers on the same electrical circuit as the rest of the barn? Where are smoke detectors and fire extinguishers located? Are no Security Signs prominantly posted and do people abide by it?
The church was crowded for a Saturday evening service, and the worship band was just finishing a rocking praise song as I stood at the edge of the platform waiting to speak. Unlike many preachers, I loved huge crowds. I needed the instant feedback, the knowing at exactly what point I connected with them. That was why, even when taping my syndicated radio show, I liked to have a live audience.
One of the most important signs you should find is the exit. When you get to a building, it is important that you see visible signs of where the safety exits are. Fire exit or emergency exits are very important because you never know when you emergency will occur.
I guess one of the things I hated most about moving into my new home was going around, ladder and 9-volt batteries in hand, testing all of the smoke alarms and replacing batteries as needed. That would have to be a daunting task in a house with 55,000 square feet and 132 rooms!
Brainstorm with your child and talk about some of these ideas. Show your child some of the costumes on the websites above, and allow your child to choose a costume to help you make. Believe me–you will end up spending a lot less money on Halloween this year…and, you will have a much happier child as well.