Move-In Monopoly

Describe a new situation and how you made the best of it.

The day I moved to Norfolk was fairly typical of Hampton Roads in the summer: hot and humid. I remember that specifically, probably because our air-conditioning hadn’t yet been turned on in our house. That morning, sometime in mid-July, my sister and I were playing a board game on the gristly old rug in our tiny room, trying to block out the bare walls and empty closet. We had reached the third game of our routine marathon of “moving-in” Monopoly. By the tender ages of ten and eight, we were quite used to the routine – traveling via road trip or by airplane to a new town, house hunting, helping unload the moving truck, meeting new neighbors. (I practically had my real estate license by this age, after spending years poring over ads with my mom.)

Somehow, though, this move felt different. Deep down, I knew the reason I had tried to cry silently at night so as not to wake my sister in the next sleeping bag over. Simply put, Norfolk wasn’t what I had expected it to be.

Norfolk was supposed to be as magical as a fairyland – or better, because it snowed there. For years, I’d sat on my mother’s lap on the beaches of Hawaii (of course, taken for granted by a child), hearing tales of how wonderful her home was. She’d frolicked in...

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