I grew up in Nashville when Nashville wasn’t cool, or at least not in the suburb where I lived from ages six to twenty-one. I dreamed of a place where things were really happening– Hollywood. Or just SOMEWHERE in California. In my teens I longed for adventures in New York, Europe, and Australia. During those years and throughout my twenties I was lucky enough to experience those places and then some. Although I still haven’t made it to California.
But I did have an awesome childhood. And there are days when I crave to be back in that house on Owendale Drive and wake up to the smell of bacon, eggs, and biscuits being made for me. I miss the anticipation of morning cartoons, swinging from the tire swing, wading in the cool creek, or sledding down the snow-packed backyard in the wintertime. Oh, wintertime. And this is what breaks me of planting my feet in Nashville forever.
It was February and I’d been married a little less than a year. My feet were cold, I hadn’t seen the sun in weeks, and everything outside was dead and grey and bleak. I begged my husband to move us somewhere warm and sunny and near the beach– somewhere I could wear flip flops 365 days a year. And this is what transports me to the west coast of Florida.
So here I’ve been for sixteen years. It is home to me. I’ve only been cold a handful of times. I frequent the beach as much as time allows, whether it’s for an hour or five. And although I busted my favorite pair, I do wear flip flops every day.
I’m also a single mom, writer, kickboxer, photographer, and full-time teacher’s assistant. And a lover of peanut butter, dark chocolate, light and full-bodied wine, biking, and being in or near any body of water. But I don’t think I’ve enjoyed all five at the same time. Yet.
I’ve got a great crew of people surrounding me. And they’re like my busted flip flops. They’re a little worn-in but they’ve had fun getting there.