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!

A Hundred Miles of River – Rick Sikes

I am out of town this weekend and am turning off comments for this post, but I wanted to share something that I think is pretty special with you.

I made the decision (a hard choice) to pull down Rick’s website at the end of 2019. It was strictly due to the amount it was costing me per year with very little return. So, I created a page (or the beginnings of one) on my own website. I’d love for you visit, as there may be some things you don’t know about the early years of his career. I will be adding more things as time allows.

Rick Sikes Page

And I’d also like to share this YouTube video with you. It’s a song that is a true story about a boat that was sunk in the Sabine River during the civil war. I hope you enjoy it!

Thank you for visiting!