I should have been born in Orlando. My parents lived there after they got married and that’s where I was conceived. They had moved there to be near my dad’s parents, and near they were. As in, next door near. His parents lived on Circle Dr – isn’t that a cool name for a street – and when the little bungalow next door was up for rent, my parents moved in there. They had moved from Appalachia, where my mom spent her whole life, and her parents before her and their parents before them. She never told me what he said to convince her to leave all of her family and friends behind and move 2000 miles away with a man she had only known for a short time. But it must have been pretty convincing, because off they went. In some ways I’m very surprised, because my mom was extremely close to her parents. Throughout her life she called and wrote them frequently and they came and visited us frequently as well. I know it must have been hard on her to be that far away from them, in a day and time when calling long distance was expensive and traveling long distances was difficult. But in other ways I’m not surprised. My mom has a spontaneity and sense of adventure in her personality that peeks its head out when you least expect it. She was ambitious and wanted more from her life than was offered to a young woman in small town America in the late ’50’s. Later, in the ’80’s, when she and my dad had divorced, she enrolled in a local university and pursued the goals that she had felt weren’t available to her back in those days. She completed a BS program in Social Work with honors, was offered a position in the office of Honorable John D Glenn – D-OH and eventually was promoted to the position of State Director, overseeing constituent services for several years before retiring at the end of his final term. We were so proud of her for what she accomplished, and how she was able to help people that turned to her in times of need. And that spontaneity is exactly why I should have been born in Orlando, but I wasn’t. Because about 8 months into her pregnancy, my mom decided she’d had enough – enough of the heat and humidity, enough of the meddling mother-in-law, and enough of that painful homesickness that being away from her family caused – and packed up my dad, their puppy and a few belongings in their hot rod Chevy, and headed back to Appalachia. She made sure I could be born in the same place as she had been, her parents had been, and their parents before them had been. Appalachia has a hold on people that can’t be explained, and can’t be ignored. And she still longingly visits there, even after she relocated – first she went north and later to a large urban area, when she met and fell in love again. But that’s a story for another blog post.