Kids explore hundreds of places – different worlds, different planets, different countries. When I was a kid, there was one imaginary place I could not stop dreaming about. Again and again, I found myself drawn to this fantasy world, like Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole. But this flight of fancy did not lead me to Wonderland or Narnia or Earth 2; it drew me to River Heights.
River Heights, the hometown of Nancy Drew. The place where most of her adventures find her.
That is the sole purpose of River Heights; Nancy never seems to stay there long, but it is the prosy background for her remarkable enterprises and the diving board for many of her adventures.
I always play Nancy Drew computer games when I’m on a break. However, that will not happen over this Thanksgiving Break, which has been taken hostage by two 10-page papers and a plethora of upcoming finals.
But, as I’m sprawled out in my childhood bedroom, researching Sophocles, I can’t help but think about what it must be like for Nancy to come home after cracking a case.
I’m thankful for my hometown. I’m thankful for the Barnes & Noble, where I never actually bought any books, because I would read them straight through, seated in a tiny wooden chair. I’m thankful for the park, where we would build “forts” out of fallen tree branches. Most of all, I’m thankful for the people. Like the good citizens of River Heights, they continue to encourage the strawberry blonde with a thirst for adventure to go out and find some.
People often ask me if I plan on staying in Florida after I graduate college.
I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t even know what state I’ll be living in six months.
That’s a problem Nancy never has to deal with. Partially because she doesn’t go to college, so no one expects her to miraculously have her life mapped out, and partially because she will eternally be a jet-setting 18-year-old. I’m older than Nancy Drew and I’ve travelled less. Nancy is breaking up crime rings and I’m breaking the bank…and stealing rolls of toilet paper from the school bathrooms. Someday, Nancy’s hair will still be golden blonde as she dates the college quarterback and mine will be gray as I hobble around a house decorated with cat fur.
Now I’m depressed.
And I’ve completely forgotten where I was going with this.
The spirit of the town never changes. And it’s nice to have something stable when life is always shifting and you’re just kind of floating around, trying to find a place to settle down. I’m thankful to have a place that gave me such a great start. And a great place to return to.
I’m thankful I have River Heights.
And Nancy Drew computer games.