Forget the ruby slippers, this mother has found her home, full of friends and family activities.
By KATHY DOTSON
Published August 15, 2003
I sometimes feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz when I think about living in Brandon: "There is no place like home!"
For the past 18 years, my husband, Joe, and I have called Brandon home. We love living here so much that, when we moved to our second home, we moved only 4 miles.
Brandon is a great place to raise a family, with its many pluses, such as playgrounds, outdoor recreational facilities, convenient shops and fast food restaurants.
My two children, Jared, 13, and Mallory, 9, both born in Brandon, have wonderful memories spending hours playing T-ball at Sadie Park and hanging from the trees at Paul Sanders Park, which they nicknamed "Shady Tree Park" because of the enormous oak trees shading us during the hot summer.
Every weekend, families load their cars with football, soccer, baseball, basketball or hockey equipment and head out to the fields for a day of fun competition, then end the day with a backyard barbecue or pool party. What a life.
With all the recent growth in this area, there are not many reasons to leave Brandon. An abundant choice of shops, doctors, restaurants and entertainment surround us. I guess you can say we're spoiled, but we love it!
In Brandon, when you're out running errands, there's always a good chance of seeing someone you know and shooting the breeze for a few minutes.
Living here in Brandon has produced many friendships over the years. These are the kind of friendships that allow you to call someone at the last minute and ask "Can you pick up my kids after school?" and know your kids are in good hands. These relationships have meant a lot to us, because we don't have immediate family in the area.
Sometimes these friendships bring sadness when we have to say goodbye because of a job transfer or military move. But no matter how far they go, we always stay in touch.
I love living in Brandon, despite its road construction projects and at times endless traffic, because unlike Dorothy, I know I don't have to travel far away to know what I have: a true feeling of home and friendship for my whole family.