Over the winter holidays, I went to visit my family in Florida. My parents recently moved to Tallahassee, in the far north of the state, to be closer to my brother. I lived in Tallahassee when I was a college student to attend Florida State University and was eager to see how the city had changed.
The first few days, I didn’t recognize much because their new house was in an area that was just farmland 25 years ago. I really enjoyed walking around the nearby lake and seeing old oak trees covered in Spanish moss, even if there were warning signs about alligators.
I finally made it to campus and didn’t recognize most of it. There were so many beautiful new buildings and dormitories. Once I made it to the older part of campus where I had taken most of my classes, it felt familiar.
Gaines street, next to the campus, had completely changed. Now there are funky coffee shops, eclectic murals, and a great pizza restaurant.
The last day of my trip, I went to nearby Thomasville, Georgia, which had also changed a lot for the better. While walking the streets, I met a very friendly bulldog puppy named Boomer. I told the owner that my book, Tornado Alley, also had a dog named Boomer. I also joked that it was the name of the son of Olympic gold medal swimmer, Michael Phelps. Boomer’s owner replied, “My dog can’t swim. He only sinks.”
All in all, it was great seeing my family and getting to meet up with some old friends. I guess it is unrealistic to expect a place in your past to stay the same. While you might get lost driving around because the roads have all changed, you’ll also discover great new places.
Life is a lot easier and happier if you fondly remember the old, but enthusiastically embrace the new. I hope you find a lot of happiness in 2019!