When I was there I was salty. Now that I am here I am still salty, but differently salty. Growing up in small town USA, meant that Christmastime was the utmost importance of every citizen. The town-square pavilion was plastered in lights, a manger scene proudly displayed in front of the stoop, and every street light post had a wreath strapped to the top. Light displays of all kinds and colors outlined almost every home and every yard. So many beautiful memories of Christmas came from that town. My fondest was walking the sidewalks in a quiet, steady snow, as the lights danced across the yards and made the already fallen snow, more beautiful. Five years ago I had moved to a large city to follow my once dream job. Everything about it made me homesick. I wanted to leave my small town and explore the country, but the hustle and bustle of the new city was somethung I could only bare for so long. Every year as Christmas time would come around, I couldn't help but feel my merry spirit fade as my tight work schedule would overtake any holiday shenanigans I had in mind. Last year, for the new year, I had moved to my home i live in now. I practically ran to this wonderful place. This place may still be considered a big city, but it at least embraces the most wonderful time of the year with widely open arms. Just as my town square back home, this city enveloped itself in anything green, red, gold, ot silver. Even all the palm trees were decorated in lights that glowed. Last year for a Christmas party, at my old job, we gathered around the water cooler with a bowl of half burnt popcorn making small talk, mostly with long quiet pauses in between each statement. This year my new office threw a luau on the beach with pinapple egg nog and surfing contests while wearing Santa suits. So as I glide on the waves and then through a perfect tube, I can't help but smile at how salty I am this year as compared to last. Mele Kalikimaka everyone!

Published by Anna M. Balentine