10/21/01: On Friday, I had my last color guard practice. Each day during fourth hour, I would have to go outside for an hour and a half to practice, but now I just have a study hall, so that’s cool. Anyway, then I got dressed in my uniform for the very last time and performed at the football game during halftime. It was also senior night, and the last time we will ever do our field show. I almost cried because it is very emotional. I mean, you go through hell with these people to get to where you are now, and then suddenly realize how much you are going to miss them when it’s all over. I also wanted to cry because I know this will be my last year of color guard. I won’t be doing it next year because the band instructor is leaving, plus my friends are seniors and will be graduating. It just wouldn’t be the same without them. I’ve had so much fun with Samantha and Shawna. The reason I didn’t cry was because I was proud of what we had accomplished this year and was glad that I survived it all. We were Grand Champions at State once again, and that is so awesome! Anyway, on Saturday Cara and I went to the Chili Boil at my neighbor’s house, and then picked up my friend, Ryan. We drove to Cara’s ex-boyfriend’s house and chilled there for awhile. Then I spent the night at Cara’s house. I ended up staying out until 12:30 a.m. driving around, and we also rented movies. I was kind of scared about getting caught for curfew, but we were fine. Cara and I stayed up the whole night, and I had to leave her house this morning at 9:00. Then Paul and I helped my sister move out of her old apartment and into a different one. Later on, I went to Jordan’s house. Awww, he is such a cutie! Haha. Anyway, I’ve just been talking online for the past three hours. Oh yes, I haven’t said much about Sam lately. A couple days ago when I spoke to him he said, “I thought about you a lot today,” so I thought that was really cool. All my freaking pens keep running out of ink and I bet you can’t even read this, so I’m just gonna go to bed. Goodnight!

Commentary: One of the things I miss most about my childhood/young adult years was that darn Chili Boil.  It was an annual Halloween party that my neighbors hosted in their backyard and involved bringing either a side dish or dessert, hanging out around a bonfire, and eating chili. It’s hard to explain why I loved it so much and looked forward to it every year, but basically, I loved the food, the decorations, and Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. October in Illinois is usually when it starts getting cold, so it was always nice to be able to do one last outdoor activity before winter hit. You’d think I would have pictures from the Chili Boil since I went to it every year for so many years of my life, but all I could find was this pic of my dad dressed up as some sort of monster. He used to get on stilts, hide behind a tall tree, and then step out from behind the tree as trick-or-treaters walked up to our front door. They didn’t even need to ring the doorbell – once my mom heard the screams, that was her cue to get the candy bowl ready.