I've been living in New England four years come July, and I love it here. Rhode Island has always felt like my niche, and unless I end up on a Greek island someday, I don't intend to leave Little Rhody any time soon.
BUT there's something about the Southwest, where I'm from, that's just different from the New England scene (well, okay, there are a lot of "somethings"). We are raised at the edge of the Bible belt, we border another country, we have amazing Mexican food, we smile at strangers, we equate spring with wind, we take for granted sunny days and piercing blue skies and a landscape that extends for a hundred miles...
It's from this desert landscape that my friend Kasey was born and raised, in a city in Texas that's only three hours away from Roswell*. Many of my friends went to Texas Tech, which is in her hometown of Lubbock, and I remember making day trips to Lubbock in early August for back-to-school shopping trips.
*By southwestern standards, neighbors.
Conversely, her family has a cabin in Ruidoso, NM, and whenever they'd visit, they'd pass through Roswell. It's quite possible that years ago, our paths crossed at a restaurant or gas station or an Abercrombie and Fitch. Nevertheless, we met here in Providence, and she is one of the people who brings my old home into my new one, making it the best of both worlds.
Kasey is adventurous, always ready to paddle board or snow board or hike a mountain, and she's active, playing in every pick up league in RI. In the words of Rhode Islanders, she's "wicked smaht"--a PhD carrying doctor--and beautiful to boot. But the greatest thing about Kasey is her kind and generous heart.
She's listened to my all of my stories, from before this blog existed and I was simply discussing possible New Year's Resolutions, to the genesis of The Global Scavenger Hunt, to all of the fundraising dilemmas, to today...when she shared my upcoming journey with her friends and threw 100% of her support behind me. She's the kind of friend who lifts you up when you no longer feel steady on your feet, and she reminds you that you were meant to fly.
That is one of the many reasons I'm going to miss Kasey when she moves to Austin this summer to accept a new job offer. I know she's going to accomplish great things in the land of her southwestern roots (with that Austin/East Coast edge), and I hope she can continue to shine her light on all those around her.
And I hope, if ever she needs it, I will be able to remind her that she, too, is meant to fly.
Thanks for all the memories, Kasey, for your friendship, and for your light...and I look forward to make more memories during our six-month reunions :) xox