Archive | February, 2010

There’s No Place Like Home

20 Feb

“If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard”-

Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz, 1939

When I was little, every Friday, my parents would let us eat popcorn out of leaf shaped plastic bowls and drink Coke Classic. We would stay up late watching shows like The Incredible Hulk until the inevitable Dallas theme song began to play. That’s when we’d be shooed off to bed, often getting piggy back rides up the stairs or singing in our matching PJs.  I loved those Friday nights when something simple like being able to forgo our milk for a soft drink made us giddy.

One special movie our family watched every year was The Wizard of Oz. We’d see commercials for it as the date came closer and teem with anticipation as the night approached.  Year after year, even in black and white, it never got old.

Sometimes I would put my moms red kitten heeled dress shoes on and pretend I was Dorothy as I shuffled through the house. One such night, my brother and sister decided that they would pretend they were the flying monkeys as they pursued me through the kitchen. Thanks to my vivid imagination, I felt as if I actually WAS Dorothy being pursued by the monkeys.   I would scream with fear and shuffle faster, heart thudding in my chest, as they got closer reaching out to grab me amidst shrieks of laughter.  This became something of a common occurrence if ever I pulled out the red shoes. 

Our love of The Wizard of Oz even manifested itself into family chores. Specifically, the yellow brick road, which would be cleverly incorporated by our dad when it was time to rake up all the leaves in our big backyard; shaded by pine, maple, and magnolia trees. Down the middle of the yard we would clear a “yellow brick road” and the entire family (and dog) would skip through the piles of leaves down the trail as we sang, “We’re Off to See the Wizard”. My mom would even do an incredible impersonation of the cowardly lion’s “Put ‘em up, Put ‘em up” as we laughed and asked over and over for her to do it again. And sure enough, by the time we “arrived at the castle”; all the leaves would be raked and ready to be bagged.

When I think back to times like this I realize what an incredible childhood I had. And I miss it and my parents. If only I could put on the pair of red dress shoes that I now own and tap my heels together three times to go home again, even if it is just for one afternoon.  It seems that for many, the search for our heart’s desire often leads us home; what we truly treasure and what we’ll truly cherish at the end of our lives probably happened in our own backyards.  One thing’s for sure, Dorothy was right; there really is no place like home.  Luckily, even if it’s just in your mind or your heart, you can always go there again.

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