The South has been my home for 22 of my 30 years. Before I found myself in the small town of Booneville, Mississippi, I called the Royal Boroughs of Windsor and Maidenhead in Berkshire, England my home.
People always want to know how my family ended up in Mississippi. It's a long story, but this article sums it up quite nicely. A chance meeting over tennis initiated a love story that would span the generations. It would eventually lead my grandparents back to Italy for 30 years, where my American born father would meet my American born mother, who was studying abroad in Rome. My dad's career in the music industry sent them to England, where my sister and I were welcomed into the world. My grandparents retired to Mississippi in 1990, and our family joined them two years later. Because my parents chose Mississippi over California (where Joan lived), and my grandparents retired to Booneville instead of Meridian or Corinth (where they had previously lived), I shared a hometown with my future husband. Although our own love story didn't begin until we became neighbors (also by chance) at the University of Mississippi, many of our childhood memories and acquaintances are the same. After college, Jonathan's career brought us across the state line to Tennessee. At that time, we were ready for a break from Mississippi. We needed a fresh start.
Over the past eight years, we have happily adopted Tennessee as our new home, but all it takes is a weekend trip to Mississippi to remember where we -- and our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents before us -- began. This article is a brilliant reminder that Mississippi is very much a part of our past, present and future. Our roots will always run back to Mississippi.