August 17, 1985 – Home At Last

August 17th is a day I celebrate each year! It was such a HUGE day in my life, or start of my life with Rick Sikes.

Although we’d met and fallen in love in 1970, it wasn’t until 1985 that we were able to begin a life together. As Rick used to say, “Courtesy of Uncle Sam.” 🙂

On August 17, 1985, Rick stepped off a Greyhound bus and into our new life together. We’d waited a long fifteen years for that day.

I want to share a very short excerpt from “Home At Last,” as it says it better than anything else I can come up with.

Here’s a picture from that time and yes, it’s a real picture of us both.

Excerpt – Chapter 2 – Home At Last

The air brakes brought the lumbering bus to a stop and the door flew open. Luke stood and gathered his meager belongings, consisting of a cheap cardboard case with a change of underwear, one change of clothes, a comb, toothbrush and the shaving razor he’d been issued when he left prison. In his pocket, he carried his parole papers, which he’d glanced at often since leaving Kansas.

When he spotted Darlina at the entrance of bus station, he swallowed hard.

He maneuvered his lanky frame to the front of the bus and stepped off. He dropped his case and wrapped his arms tightly around her when she ran forward. They stood quietly, barely breathing.

His chest tightened when big tears welled up in her blue eyes. He hated to see her cry, even if they were tears of joy.

“Oh Luke. You’re finally home,” her voice quivered.

He cleared his throat. “It’s damned time too. Let’s get out of here. All of these people make me a little more than nervous.” Luke picked up his small case.

“Sorry, the air conditioner in the car doesn’t work. It’s damned hot,” she chattered nervously.

Luke nestled his free hand in hers and let her guide him to the maroon Chevy.

“Honey, it wouldn’t matter to me if you had to pick me up with a wagon and team of mules. God, it’s good to be back in Texas. All the way here, I kept thinking to myself, ‘Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore’.”

Standing beside the car, Luke threw his case into the backseat and pulled Darlina into his arms. He kissed her waiting lips and slid his hands slowly down her back, savoring the feel of her beneath his trembling hands.

Darlina let out a long sigh. “I’ve waited so long for you to hold me, baby. I thought today would never get here.”

Luke struggled to steady his voice. “Not nearly as long I have, sweetheart. Let’s go home.

***

And so they did.

To celebrate, I’ve lowered the price of “Home At Last” in the Kindle store to 99 cents for three days! If you haven’t grabbed a copy, this is a great time to do so!

And if you read it and are so inclined to, please leave a review so that other potential readers will see your thoughts about it!

39 thoughts on “August 17, 1985 – Home At Last

    1. I created fictitious characters to tell the true story through. It was much easier to step back out of the equation that way since I am a character in the stories. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, John!

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  1. And I was feeling bad because the 17th is my aunt’s birthday and I didn’t get to visit. This puts things in perspective. Thanks for sharing this, Jan. Your love is clear in every word, and it’s an enduring tribute to your relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jan, what a lovely way to remember this special day in your life with Rick. I read “Home at Last” some time ago and thoroughly enjoyed reading about your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Home at Last is a wonderful read, as is the whole series. I wish you a ton of downloads and many new fans, Jan. I always said your life with Rick would make a great movie love story. You really had something special together.

    Liked by 1 person

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