Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mum’s The Word!

In 1980 I donned my very first (and last) homecoming mum. What is a homecoming mum you ask? Well, it was only last week that I found out homecoming mums are almost exclusively a Texas tradition. Being the selfish, ‘we are the center-of-the-universe’ Texan that I am, I assumed everyone participated in the gaudy ritual that is…the homecoming mum.

This is Texas and size does matter—well in homecoming mums anyway! The bigger the better is the mantra for Deep South beauties. A pancake sized chrysanthemum, either real or fake attached to a cardboard backdrop makes up the base of the corsage. The mum can be enhanced with stuffed animals, the school mascot or even goal posts made from pipe cleaners. An explosion of ribbon in the school’s colors, reaching up to and beyond three feet in length hangs from the mum. The ribbons usually bear the wearers name and the name of her beau, or interest, or date in bright glitter letters. Trinkets such as footballs, music notes and the like are attached as well. A veritable floral monstrosity that when attached to your shirt, pulls the garment down to your belly button! I suppose that’s why some where their mums around their necks like a breastplate.

I tried unsuccessfully looking online to find the history of the homecoming mum, so I went to a source I knew would give me the answer I was looking for…my mom. According to Mom who began her high school career in the tiny town of Milano, Texas (just west of Bryan/College Station), no one in her school ever wore a mum (and Mom was a cheerleader, so she would know!) Mom finished high school in Houston, Texas at Sam Houston High. She remembered the drill team girls always wore matching yellow checked dresses on game day and on homecoming Friday, a small mum accompanied their ensemble. That all happened in the gay old year of 1955.

Say, since my young adult novel is set in Kerrville, Texas maybe I should have one of the characters receive one of those big beautiful bust bouquets! I could start a trend for the entire USA! And then again, maybe not.

Yes…that’s me on the left in the picture. I remember me and my best friend, Krista, proudly wearing our matching cable knit sweaters to the game and literally sweating through to our Columbia blue mum ribbons. In South Texas, fall might mean football, hayrides and bonfires, but it doesn’t always mean cool weather. What you can’t see in the picture is our matching baby blue corduroy jeans! So who was the handsome stranger that gave me my one and only homecoming mum? It wasn’t a stranger at all; it was my mom and dad. No, it doesn’t have to be a boyfriend who gives you a mum. It just has to be someone who loves you.

Monday, October 5, 2009

What kind of person would I be?

If I put off reading my Bible until later and later never came?

If I drifted off to sleep saying a prayer?

If I didn’t tell my neighbors about the Good News of Christ because they don’t speak the same language as me?

If I dropped my son off at See You At The Pole and sped away to an appointment instead of standing by his side and praying with him?

If I didn’t thank God for the countless prayers He’s answered?

If I didn’t remember daily that God sacrificed His Son for me?

If I had more eighties songs committed to memory than scripture?

If I became lax in the television programs I allowed my children to watch?

If I let the perfect opportunity to witness, get away?

If I didn’t give all He was encouraging me to give?

What kind of person would I be?

What kind of person are you?