I often wonder about that 9 year old little girl with ponytails, proudly holding her flower drawing. My journey of fifty plus years has led me back home to where I began. Could it really be a lot of coincidences or was it always meant to be? One thing is certain,it is never too late to be what you might have been.
This story begins as I arrived in Florida in 1962, having been born in Virginia. Our first home was on Chandler Road in Laurel and I played with my friend Diane, a member of the Chandler Family for whom the road was named. Following my parents divorce, my mother, sister and I moved to a house in South Venice in 1967.
Soon after, a black family from Chicago began building a home across the street from us. Times were different then, people outwardly expressed their prejudices and unfortunately vandals continually attempted to stop the construction by damaging the property nightly.
I was 14 at the time and didn't understand how anyone could be so cruel, so without my mothers knowledge I called the police and informed them of the person who had bragged to me of his deeds. The vandalism stopped and the home was completed. The family didn't live there long, they moved to Laurel where they stayed until the wife became ill.
My life unfolded much like anyone else....marriages, births, deaths and so on. I divorced after 17 years and remarried four years later. My daughter and I moved to my husband, Howard's home in Sarasota and yet I continued to drive my daughter to and from school in Nokomis. After a year of hunting we found a home in Laurel that needed a lot of work, but we loved the property and the layout of the house. The north side faced Chandler Road directly across from the very house pictured in 1962. Paul, the little boy I played with back then still lives right next door.
While holding our first garage sale, I met many new neighbors, one who informed me our house was built by a black gentleman originally from Chicago whose home in South Venice had not worked out for him. I am now living in the house built by the family whom I had assisted back in 1967 at the age of 14! Had I paid it forward?
My husband encouraged me to convert one room into an art room since I had developed this passion for finding and painting discarded furniture and other once treasured items. Two years later, my work can be found through my web site www.mickiesmuse.com , and local shops here in Sarasota/Manatee counties. Enchanted Keepsakes, First Class Consignment, Serenity Gardens, St. Armands Gifts & Winery, Venice Wine & Cheese, Mystic Eye, Yesterday's Memories, Consignment America and most recently added to the gift shop at Pop's Bar and Grill on Nokomis Beach.
So as I gaze into the night's sky in the evening I can't help but be amazed that I ended up right back where I started!!