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I remember riding down the road when I was little, orange groves on either side as far as the eye could see, the smell of orange blossoms thick in the air. There was never much traffic on this two lane road and that’s how we liked it. It’s a road I still drive every day, but it isn’t the same and never will be.

We moved to the outskirts for a reason, we didn’t want the baggage that comes from living in the city. We didn’t want the cookie cutter houses on half acre lots to be our life. My parents wanted substance for me and my brother, something you can’t find in the emptiness of the suburbs. We grew up playing in the woods, not the concrete jungle; we raised pigs, chickens, turkeys, and had a garden. I learned to shoot in my backyard at the age of 6. We never had to deal with the headache of a Home Owners Association. You couldn’t wish for a more wholesome upbringing.

Ten years down the line, the orange groves started to disappear. I still remember the look on my mother’s face when the first section was cleared. Not long after

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(The opinions in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Southern Nation News or SN.O.)

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