As if to punish me, Florida has been beautiful the past few days as I've been cleaning my house and preparing to leave this place that has been my home for twenty years. When I arrived, I came to work for WESH TV in Orlando and it was October. I remember saying to our sports anchor, "Gee, this is a warm day, isn't it?" And he looked at me and smiled and said, "Wait 'til you've been here in August."
I had come to Florida after covering the White House (George H.W. Bush) for Group W and I had been wearing my hair a little longer than I am now. A few days after I arrived I had to go get my Florida driver's license and the picture they took shows my hair curling in the Florida humidity.
The funny thing is: they kept using that same picture for 20 years, and as the years went by and I grew older the picture looked better and better to me. Then, just a few weeks ago, I got a notice that my license was expiring and this time they would need a new photo to meet the new federal national security guidelines.
So, now that I am leaving Florida I finally have a new driver's license photo. It looks a little bit more like a mug shot and, sad to say, I look a little bit more like a grown-up lady. Time ... you thief.
I'll be leaving on a jet plane in just a few hours. And I see that sign in my head that says "You Are Now Leaving the State of Florida." California here I come. And, as it turns out, it is right back where I started from.