Thirty-five years ago this month, we moved from Lexington, KY to Homestead, FL. I was a few weeks from turning fourteen, a recent victim of the Blow Cut hair style, and a little overweight from an affinity for saltines and sweet tea.
November in Florida is beautiful as the heat and humidity wane and the holiday season rolls in. But thirty-five years ago it was odd, hot, and far away from my "world." I felt like I'd moved to the end of the earth.
I had culture shock going from a suburban Lexington Junior High to one all classes and races of kids. I had to learn their lingo and culture. I stood at the bus stop sweating in my pants and short sleeve top while my bus stop mates wore fur lined coats. It was the first time I'd ever been asked, "Where you stay at?"
My classes ran from noon to five p.m. The hallways were covered sidewalks or opened into courtyards.
Riding my bike this afternoon a scent on the breeze reminded me of those early days in Homestead. For a second I remembered how odd and weird it felt to be in a scene with so much green and sunshine when my setting should be cold, grey and pregnant with snow.
It was a long time ago. My parents were more than a decade younger than I am now. They loaded up five kids and moved to pursue their dreams.
Within a year of that move, I had a couple of best friends. I'd shed those extra pounds, exchanged octagon wire rims for contact lens and eventually got a job at Publix. I got a little bit prettier. Had a crush on a guy named Joe, then a guy named Pete. And had infinitely better hair. ;)
Looking out my front windows, soft breeze in the leaves, golden light on the lawn, I'm glad. I'm content. Life is good.