11) My Hometown, Apopka, Fl – “The Foliage Capital Of The World”


A decade ago, my wife and I went on a cruise to the Bahamas and our cruise ship embarked from Cape Canaveral, Fl.  Back then, we were living in New Jersey, a crowded state close to New York.  It was February of that year, at the peak of winter when the trees looked dead and the general population succumbed to depression.  As our plane eased itself closer to Floridian ground, I saw trees beaming with life!  Green leaves were everywhere.  I couldn’t believe what I saw!  The 17-years of isolation in New Jersey has made me forgot the endless summers I have had when I was growing up in a tropical country in the East. I told my wife right there and then,  “Love, we gonna have to move here.”  A year later, we had a house built for us from the ground up. Two more years later, we questioned ourselves if we did the right move.  The value of our new house went down by over 50% and my wife was still jobless.  The creative accounting of so many companies was exposed; so were the junk bonds and worthless derivatives of so many companies that were linked to mortgages bought by hope and sold by greed.  And since the whole world was and is still linked financially, the whole world was in financial  jeopardy. Luckily for us, with patience, hard work and optimism, we were able to weather the financial storm and get to keep our humble home here in Apopka.

Since then, Apopka has improved by leaps and bounds.  It’s population  grew so fast, new houses and business establishments were growing like mushrooms and still do. Nurseries still abound but a lot have closed.  Orange plantations have disappeared almost entirely. New schools, new roads, new recreation areas were built to support the growing population. It has become the second largest city in Orange County, next to Orlando.  What will it be a decade more to go, I don’t know. What I do know is there will be more changes to come.  And for that matter, we must change, too.

I like the photo featured above because it is a picture of our favorite calamansi tree which keeps on blooming and bearing fruits which my sweet wife readily make into our favorite calamansi juice.  Because we can’t consume all its fruits, we usually give some to our friends nearby as well as to some of our neighbors.  I like this tree, too because it is for me a continued reminder of the awesome truth in life.  We reap what we sow.  Yes, it’s true.  Thank you.


4 thoughts on “11) My Hometown, Apopka, Fl – “The Foliage Capital Of The World”

  1. Great thoughts, glad you two were able to keep the homestead. Many were not so lucky. There is a very large lake near you I think, I suppose it has the same name as the city. Lake Apopka? I lived in Dunedin in the 90’s, it was nice but I moved back to Michigan. blah.


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