Monday, June 11, 2007

Ch - Ch - Changes

Forty years has brought a lot of changes to that part of the Florida panhandle I used to call home. I had chance to think about how things used to be as I saw how they are today.

We drove by the house where I lived from the time I was 3 to the time I left for college never to return home to live. When we moved in the shrubbery was all tiny and the yard was still mostly sand. By the time my parents died, the shrubbery was overgrown and the plumbing was hopelessly clogged. The house had fallen into a sad state of disrepair.

After I sorted through a lifetime of possessions, I decided to sell the house at a greatly reduced price to a fireman and his family who pledged they would reclaim it. I was pleasantly surprised to see they had done just that. It was freshly painted with a bright red door and a white picket fence. I’m relatively sure it looks just as nice on the inside.

The beach at precisely the place where we stayed in our wonderful condo was formerly the secluded site where my girls and I went with our cooler of beer and the lemon juice for our hair. At that time 40 years ago there was no sign of a condo, no umbrellas for rent, no jetskis, no parasail rides. It was just wide open drifts of white sand graced by waving sea oats. Despite the ravaging of hurricanes Opel and Katrina, the beach is totally overbuilt with huge high rises and an overabundance of souvenir shops and restaurants. Only the state park preserves any stretches of pristine beach.

We drove to Tallahassee today to catch our flight home. With a little time to spare, we went into the city to visit some of my old haunts. Even the Chi Omega house has had a facelift since I was there in an effort to erase the image of the house where Ted Bundy committed his gruesome murders in the mid-70’s. The sidewalk out front has been brightly painted to give the name and symbol of my sorority.

Of course as I type this we are sitting on the runway for almost 2 hours with no hope of getting home tonight as planned. We are currently booked on a flight out of Memphis tomorrow AM that gets in at 11:30. If we can ever get to Memphis tonight, that should still allow me to meet up with 2 Blogger friends for lunch tomorrow afternoon. I’ve been so looking forward to this lunch date. I just hope something happens soon before I go crazy sitting in this hot airplane where the anger level is escalating by the minute.


Blogger Kristin said...

It looks as if there are have been some positive changes. I always think that nothing can live up to my memory of home, but home probably wasn't exactly what I remember.

Sorry about the tarmac time. I hope the rest of the journey went well!

7:05 AM  
Blogger Old Lady said...

That triggers memories of my beach days here. I remember the lemon juice and baby oil with iodine!

7:34 AM  
Blogger Old Lady said...

Oh, and you were at Tallahassee around that time weren't you? *Shudder*

7:35 AM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

You were a sorority girl? OMG!!

I love that there's a red fire hydrant right next to the fireman's house.

Very cool that you were able to take this trip down memory lane.

8:37 AM  
Blogger steve said...

i COULDN'T do it...sit on the Tarmac for more than 1 hour--they would have to call Security to carry me out of there...

12:24 PM  
Blogger GEWELS said...

How nice to see your beloved home taken care of.

Oh, but nothing worse than a hot plane full of cranky people. I try to suggest that they offer us all rounds of drinks for the inconvenience. Tipsy people are happy people.Lol

4:55 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Your old house looks lovely and quaint.

Good thing you could blog from the runway!

10:13 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I was in a sorority in high school..Delta Chi Kappa Chapter.
I don't agree with a lot about them now. I think people who want to join should have been able to.

10:14 PM  

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