Saturday, January 2, 2010


In the spring of 1989 I was attending a pre-Calculus class at Greenville Tech. There was a cute boy in my class, kind of surfer looking. He had a cool haircut, with a weight line, and he was blonde,which made him look like he spent lots of time in the sun. I enjoyed watching him each day as he went through his routine of taking out his pencil, then his big pink eraser, and then his notebook - always in that order. We eventually started to chat with each other. One day he asked me what my plans were. I was only 19, and really couldn't be too specific. All I knew was that I wanted to graduate from college and move to Florida. Those were my only two goals. And I only had the first goal because it seemed that it would help me accomplish the second. I guess that didn't seem too strange a thing to plan for because that surfer dude and I moved to Florida in the fall of 1993 as husband and wife.

I longed for Florida before I ever got there, and I miss it really bad today. It would be easy to miss Florida on a day like today. I don't think it got above the freezing mark, and if it did, I couldn't tell! But that would miss the larger point. I miss Florida everyday. So why am I here, back in SC? It was a once in a lifetime opportunity when real estate prices were skyrocketing. We were fortunate (I don't like the word lucky) and here we are. I don't regret it. There was really no choice as to the best path to take. We took it and life is good. But that doesn't make me miss Florida any less.

The sky is bluer in Florida. The weight of the air is better. Palm trees and anoles just give everything a laid back style. You never have to wear socks in Florida. You can find a good Cuban sandwich in every town. People don't care so much about who you know, where you came from, who you went to school with - you get a certain anonymity there. And that is freeing in many ways. But friends like to listen to the quirks you left behind. You get to describe what a boiled peanut tastes like, because no one knows. You can explain what a crocus is and how it is the first flower of spring, because spring in Florida is a lot like summer, fall and winter. They even indulge you the pleasure of describing how the Clemson Tigers take to the field during home games, even though they pull for the Gators or 'Noles.

So anyway, I'm just missing my life back in Florida. I plan on returning, for sure. In fact, here I sit, back in Greenville, just like I was back in 1989. I still tell my surfer dude how much I want to be there and that it is my plan to go. He listens, just like he did back then. And I think he wants that for me, and for him, again. To return to our old town on the Gulf. We've even got our children, who were all born as Crackers, ready to pack their bags. Key told us that his teacher asked each child in his second grade class to tell where they wanted to go to college. Key told them he was going to be a Florida Gator. And this Clemson Tiger just smiled when she heard the news. Because it will be perfect if we can all end up on the beautiful beaches again as a family.


Lyna said...

I am so glad that you have found your way back to SC our Ward is very blessed to have your family in it. As for you and your surfer dude you are the only people that we have Adult Time with.... By the way we need to do something real soon.

Lisa :) said...

Thank you, Lyna! We would love to get together soon. In fact, Friday night the Y will keep our kids from 6-10pm. Are ya'll free?

Ryan and Tonya said...

I feel your pain. I wish we were back in Florida nearly every day as well. I keep telling myself that this is a better place to raise our children - not sure I am really buying that one anymore. It is so darn cold here in Asheville. Every year the "nativies" keep saying, "it is never this cold, this is such a strange year and it won't happen again for several more years." I don't believe it anymore.

heather@it'stwinsanity said...

I'm an odd bird I guess! I spent so much time in CA, TX, GA, and AZ that I actually missed the cold weather! And snow! We spent 4 years in Augusta, GA and of course spent a lot of that time in SC visiting the zoo or going to the parks. I love visiting Florida but I'd miss the snow too much to live there!

Shirley said...

You want to get back, and I would love to leave Florida forever! Who in the world came up with boiled peanuts anyway? Nasty, nasty, nasty!!!

Maroussia said...

It will be great to watch Clemson Tigers,i have bought tickets from looking forward to it.