HOMECOMING 2016

I promise this image will make more sense in just a minute..
and YES, that is me...
read on...



Homecoming:  noun | home * com * ing | an instance of coming home

2016 marks 20 years from my college graduation...
There is an "instance" of coming home...

I didn't make it to my "reunion" this year for college...even though it was in that place where I discovered what my "home" truly meant...in that place where God brought me completely to my face on the floor as I was finally forced to face the aftermath of my childhood, my sister's death and other's poor choices that affected me to the core...It was a beginning of sorts...

And even though, it would have been so, so fun to see others and hug them and reminiscence...it was in that place where I learned that the best years of my life were yet to come...they aren't found in looking backwards, but they are in the now...in the faces of my husband & daughters...and it's in looking forward and continually reaching for that "becoming"...and so, although I was sad to not attend, I looked to the excitement of my present:

Because, this year also marked my eldest daughter's first homecoming...

Now, before I get too nostalgic, sappy and philosophical, I thought you'd all enjoy my own personal Homecoming experience from high school (back in the day)...

Let me back up and set the scene for you...

(insert wavy, back in time music here)

Picture a rather nerdy girl...
A girl who pretty much woke up a whomping 15 minutes before her bus came to pick her up each day for school...a girl who never wore makeup or put much stock into outfit choices...a girl who spent every waking moment studying or worrying about studying...

This girl did not really attend any Homecoming or other school activity other than sport related during her  9th through 11th grades...

She figured that her 12th grade year she probably SHOULD go to Homecoming, but wasn't all that "into" the idea...that is...until...

until her step-sister (who was up for Homecoming Queen herself) came running down the long hallway to her locker to tell her that SHE, Colleen, was voted to Homecoming court to represent the Senior Class.

This meant getting a dress and fixing hair and doing make-up...and *gasp* having a DATE!

Long story short, I begged my best friend, Dan, to see if his girlfriend wouldn't mind if he took me to our homecoming.  It was fortunate that she attended a different school, because that meant he could justify taking me. Dan and I grew up across the street from one another and so, he graciously attempted to teach me how to dance in his garage to music I had never really listened to (because I was too busy studying) although this would become a moot point (you will understand later...keep reading...)

I got the dress and heels, we had the school assembly and soon it was the day of our small town parade! All the girls on court rode on the back of convertible cars whilst their drivers slowly proceeded through town following each class float. It's a big shindig in a small town...everyone comes out to line the streets and shake pompoms and cheer everyone on.

As extroverted as I am now, this was not my temperament back then...and therefore, I was a tad nervous about "princess waving" my way in front of all those folks...

This turned into full blown anxiety when my driver remarked, as we came to an abrupt halt halfway through the parade course, that the car had stalled.

He was at a loss as to what to do, to get it running again...so as the Junior float moved farther and farther ahead and our car held up the remaining portion of the parade (which included another float and the marching band), he thought it imperative to put it in neutral and attempt to rev the engine.

He did this for awhile, as I sat...

still waving and smiling and hoping I wasn't going to have to walk in the heels the remainder of the parade...

I shouldn't have worried...

or more appropriately perhaps, I should have been very afraid...

You see, it was at that point, that my driver (my cool Biology teacher) decided that after revving it for full 2-3 minutes, it would be best to then throw it into drive...

Seeing as he was a Biology teacher and not say, a Physics teacher, he must have abandoned those "laws of motion" concepts...you know, the stuff about inertia and energy...

Because, when he threw it into drive, the car lurched...HARD...

and thus...

I flew off the back of the car and landed, with a thud, in the middle of the road...

dress, flowers, heels and all...

Mr. Biology teacher didn't realize what had happened and was just thrilled that the car got moving again, so he proceeded to follow the float up ahead...

I think all the screaming and gasping from the crowds that lined the street finally caused him to turn around in his seat to discover that his passenger was nowhere to be seen...

There I sat, sprawled out on the concrete, fortunately in an upright position...realizing that my backside was rather numb and trying to determine my next course of action...

Am I angry? embarrassed? hurt? what just happened? should I laugh? cry?

or all the above???

Some senior guys ended up carrying me back to car and stayed behind it the rest of the way (in case I took yet another spill)... and they eventually had to push the car back to the school to finish up the parade...

It turned out that I broke the tip of my tailbone and was out of Basketball for a bit...and obviously had some difficulty walking, not to mention "dancing" at the event too...and so all those garage lessons really didn't matter much because poor Dan basically had to carry me to the spotlight dance for the one Senior song, where I dangled from his neck because it hurt too much to put pressure on my legs and in turn my derriere.


(ahhh, we've come a long way since the late 80s and 90s homecoming attire) 

(pre-parade pictures...standing upright without incident...my sister, Tina was voted Homecoming queen that night too!)

(post-fall, pushing car back to starting of parade)

Ohhh the memories...

I'm glad that her Homecoming experience was  less "eventful" than mine, but it was still filled with fond memories of the evening with friends...

I think she looked lovely!









One last "proud momma" moment...
After our little "photo session", another mom and I drove the girls to BJs for their dinner reservations. Kudos to one gal in the group that kept everyone organized and got the reservations and formed group chats, etc...She did such a fantastic job! Anyway, once I dropped them off, I had this little "feeling" in my gut that perhaps I should go in for a second.  I parked my car and just ran in to check on them...Only to discover this sweet girl having to haggle with the manager because they didn't have her reservation.  It showed in her phone that she had called the number and spoken with them for nearly 5 minutes to make those reservations back on September 17th!  Long story short, by killing them with kindness, the girls obtained a sweet large party corner booth and did not have to split up (of which they were sooo happy)...but here's the "heart swelling" part...


Another mom was scheduled to pick them up, and when she did, the girls' server ran after them because she wanted to tell the adult/chaperone/mom this, "These girls were the sweetest and most behaved girls she had ever waited on!  Not only are they beautiful but they were so well-mannered."

OH, that does a momma heart proud!  The establishment was saddened to have put them through the anxiety and the girls were a joy to have as guests!



April  – (3.10.16)  

Loved reading this!! We missed you at the reunion but this was as good as any reason to miss!!!❤️

April  – (3.10.16)  

PS my senior yr Homecoming we wore short dresses. Loved your group photo-1991 styles need not make a comeback tho! 😂

Brian Kryk  – (3.10.16)  

I remember this day like it was yesterday. Glad your able to find some humor in it after all these years. What a great story top tell your kids too! Can't even imagine the laughing that takes place. Thanks for sharing.

Brian Kryk  – (3.10.16)  

I remember this day like it was yesterday. Glad your able to find some humor in it after all these years. What a great story top tell your kids too! Can't even imagine the laughing that takes place. Thanks for sharing.

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