Like other moves I'd made since college, my sojourn to Orlando 20 years ago this month was sure to be temporary, a springboard to the next vista, the next diversion. I really wasn't sure where I was going, to be honest. My work was more or less driving all decisions, offering up tangents and chances to reinvent myself in new places.
Then real life started happening. I met the woman who would become my wife. I got a better job in terms of stability and potential. A house was purchased. A little boy was born. Then a little girl.
I guess you could say I got lucky.
Now, with so many memories set against the backdrop of Orlando, this town feels like it's always been home. (For the record, my real hometown is Winston-Salem, N.C., the leafy place of my birth that's always at the periphery of my thoughts, but that's another story.)
Funny how things turn out. One minute you're taking a simple detour. The next, you're removing the training wheels from the bikes, re-roofing the house, saving for college educations and, as the palms flutter in the backyard, wondering how you ever lived and loved anywhere else.