Triad Magazine

A Hillsborough Community College Student Publication since 1978.

Flavors of Home: Illinois to Florida

By Destinee Johnson

They say when you think of home, you think of a place
But that’s not exactly true for me
When I think of home, I think of many places
You see, home is not just the physical dwelling that your bills get sent to
It’s not just the place where you eat or sleep either
Home is where your heart is and I learned that very quickly after I moved
from Illinois to Florida
Don’t get me wrong, I love Florida
I’m one step closer to my dream, FAMU
I’ve made strong friendships
Had a few birthdays with 80 degrees
And I discovered a destiny that I had never seen before
Florida to me will always be “home”

But there’s something about that 17 hour road trip or two and a half hour
plane ride that makes me smile
There’s a type of excitement that only comes when I hear the pilot say,
“We have landed in Chicago. It’s nice and sunny, with a high of 45 degrees”.

My legs began to unstiffen, when the green sign on the highway indicates
that we are 15 miles outside from the place I called home

We pull up to our hold house, eager to get inside
But it’s not the house that makes it home
It’s seeing friends and family
It’s going to my old church, and singing again with my sister
It’s eating Harold’s Chicken, drenched in mild sauce
It’s going to Garrett’s after leaving the airport, and getting my Chicago mix
popcorn
It’s driving past the United Center, where the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks
have played for many years

It’s reliving old memories, yet making time to create new ones
And yes, it’s even snow blizzards and shoveling until your hands get numb
This was, is, and will always be, “home”

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