People are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be. – Abraham Lincoln

I’ve always been so happy with the places I’ve lived. Most of the time anyway, because as far as I’m concerned, nobody can be happy all the time. I’ve had only three hometowns – Marcus, Decorah and now Tallahassee – but there is so much good in each of those distinctly different places.

Last Sunday in the late afternoon heat I was cruising around our neighborhood, pushing  the stroller and thinking about that trio of places. I was just considering the things I will miss about Tallahassee when it is no longer our home (whenever that might be). Thankfully, the list of those things is long.

Good friends, mild winters, towering pines and their dangling moss, our church choir and its members, cardinals zooming past my kitchen window, the neighborhood where we brought home our darling boy and close proximity to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, just to name a few.

Once I started I found it hard to stop: our neighborhood park, nearby food and drink (very walkable with the stroller), sweet-smelling jasmine surrounding mailboxes and weaving its way up your run-of-the-mill utility pole, Japanese magnolias that bloom in February to herald the upcoming spring season and remind you that their Southern cousins will be along in a few months, azaleas that peak long before the Master’s just a few hours’ drive north of here, oysters, pine straw for mulch, use of “y’all,” the sticky heat of summer that balances those mild winters (even if it’s not good for what you might consider summertime activities). There’s plenty to like, so I long ago made up my mind to be happy about it, just as good old Abe suggested.

When we moved to this new semi-tropical locate more than seven years ago I had no idea what life would look like when it came time for Pete’s graduation. I didn’t realize I would come to adore it here, despite its distance from more familiar people and places I love so much. I’m lucky. I’m blessed. I’m happy, and making that choice is a battle I hope I’ll always pick.


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