This past Friday was Homecoming for our high school. You know, like the big kahuna of football games. Not because of who we play, but because of tradition. Alumni return. Friends gather.
And the mums are over-the-top.
You may have heard it said that everything is bigger in Texas. Well, just wait 'til you see this.
Since homecoming is always crowded, it's important to get to the game early. Especially when you have child in band and they're going to do a special pregame performance.
And why bother with dinner when there are so many good things at the game.
Hot dogs always taste better at a football game.
Though some prefer Chick-fil-A or a barbeque sandwich.
Believe it or not, in this cow and chicken war, my daughter opted for the cow, while her husband was the chicken.
And no game is complete without an order of nachos.
The excitement builds as the team gets ready to take the field. Go Panthers!
But first, the band treats us to a most excellent performance.
I love marching bands. Football games would be so boring without them.
My little trumpet player is down there somewhere. Fourth trumpet from the front. Can you see him?
Oh, and those boxes are their props. This was their competition show. They've had competitions every Saturday this month. These kids may not lift weights, but I can tell you that they work every bit as hard as the football players.
But if you're a high school student, the big deal about homecoming is the mums. When I was growing up in Michigan, we had mums too. They were large, live and they sold them the day of the homecoming game for $1 or $2.
The mums in Texas, though, are unbelievable. Flowers and ribbons and feathers and whatever else they can think up. Some even light up.
The color guard girls show off their mums as they arrive at the stadium.
Yes, these mums hang around their neck.
Some mums are a little more subdued. Underclassmen have colored mums, usually school colors. The seniors, however, have white mums. High school protocol, you know.
The cheerleaders found a way to put those megaphones to good use.
Can you tell which mum belongs to a senior?
You guessed it.
Look at the cute teddy bears.
And just because a senior mum is white, doesn't mean it can't have personality.
Anybody want to guess her favorite Disney movie?
Some mums travel in pairs.
Some in threes. I suspect this is to hold each other up. Can you believe the size of these things?
Some even have to have their dates carry them.
Yes, this is outside the ladies room. :)
Oh, but the guys get in on the action too. They have garters. They wear them on their arm.
And the kids buy these for their homecoming dates. It's not uncommon for a mum to cost upwards of $200. A garter can cost $100 or more. Just depends on how ornate they are and whether you make it yourself or pay someone to do it for you. Yes, mums are big money in Texas.
But the grand prize for this year's most over-the-top mum has to go to this girl.
Next year, I think there should be a rule that no mum can be bigger than the person wearing it.
Now it's your turn. What high school traditions linger on where you live?