For those of you who know me, I grew up in the Washington, D.C. metro area. I went back to visit earlier this month with my kids. There were places and people there that I have a deep connection to, but I was amazed at how much things have changed in the last 14 years, since I left for college. Everytime I go back, I feel my connection to that place and time grow weaker and weaker. I still have family there that I love and will want to see, but could I ever move back to that place? No. I've made my home in other places.
In 1996, I left for college in the Rocky Mountains. My husband and I have called the Denver metro area home for a decade now. We love our home. We love the people and their friendly demeanor. We love the gorgeous Rocky Mountains. We never get bored of the amazing view here. We hike, we camp, he fishes, he hunts and we love to observe the wildlife here in Colorado. Are we skiiers? No, but that will come as our children get older. We are Coloradans through and through.
So where does the Magnolia come from? My husband grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina, along the Cape Fear River. This is my adopted East Coast hometown. In June, we took our kids there for their first Summertime trip to the Wrightsville Beach, (which is the barrier island across the sound from Wilmington). They fell in love with this place, just like I have. The sound of the waves and gulls, the smell of the saltwater, the feel of the warm, soft sand under their feet, the amazing food that can only be found there (thanks to Flips BBQ and Trolley Stop Dogs) and a million other things that make this place absolutely bewitching. For a short time, my husband and I made our home in this place and owned a cheap little boat. Some of my favorite memories are of riding through the sound at sunset. Just gorgeous! Inland, the plantation and colonial homes are surrounded by towering azaleas and shady magnolias. Magnolia has to be my most favorite scent in the world. It smells like the South. It smells like beauty.
Of course, this name is metaphorical, as well. It's what I aspire to be. The Rocky Mountains are wise, strong, steadfast, immovable. Magnolias are gracious, elegant and they make everything more beautiful around them. At this point in my life, I have a long way to go to achieve this high standard, but what a wonderful challenge! I hope this blog will be a way to chronical that journey, to reclaim my writer voice and to give some perspective to my crazy days as a wife and as a mother of five. Thanks for joining me.