Originally posted July1, 2008
Though, who would have thought that it would lead to a red dirt one? For many years my favorite movie has been The Wizard of Oz, though at the beginning I didn’t know why. I think now I do. Strange that it has taken me so long to realize it.
Much like Dorothy, I was always dreaming of somewhere over the rainbow, where I could be someone different, I suppose. Growing up kinda poor (though never being homeless or hungry, thank you Mom and Dad), I wanted to be on the other side of the street or rainbow, if you will.
I am not exactly where I was dreaming I would be. I longed to be a doctor, actually a physical therapist. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be married, but at the time, I was pretty sure I wanted to wait a long while on kids – like mid 30’s – if at all. If you have read my web pages, you know that God had other things in mind for me.
I had Justin pretty young, so I had to change my direction a bit. While on my journey, my parents stood behind the curtain, helping to take care of Justin until I found my way. I got lost on the yellow brick road for a while. I took a longer nap in the field of poppies than I should have. Luckily, in the strangest of places, I met my soul mate and guide to help me find my way.
The yellow brick road has taken us many places beyond the red dirt road that I grew up on. I enjoy looking back and I am always amazed at how far we – I – have come in our journey. We began our journey in Arkansas, the very first time I had really been away from my parents and on my own. Though not entirely on my own, Reese did travel Monday through Friday our first six months there, so I was on my own in taking care of Justin and a house…just not the bills. We struggled the first few years together. Reese was starting over after his divorce, I still felt like a kid, with a lot of growing up to do. The yellow brick road took us from Arkansas to, of all places, Kansas, for a short time, and on back to Arkansas. Still very young and homesick, Reese decided it was time to get me closer to home, and on we went to South Carolina. We were there for a while, and added a new member to our traveling party. Then a job offer came out of the blue to take us home. To the red dirt road.
The red dirt road. Where I grew up. Trees and dirt bikes. Tire swings and lightning bugs. Fishing and mud bogging. I would love for my kids to grow up with the same things that we all grew up with. The days of leaving on our bikes after breakfast and not coming home until dinner time. The teen years – I want my sons to grow up with the very things my sister tries to keep her girls away from! Bon fires and field parties. Hot rod cars, football games in the crisp fall evenings – where they take football seriously (unlike the touchy feely land we are in right now). Swimming in the lake “down the way” rope swing into the water… Not much of that can be done these days. Sad, really.
Well, the red dirt road led us back to the yellow brick road once again, and we followed it on to Washington. It has been a pretty good four years for us, but finally, we realized where the road has been leading us all along – home.
… and that is why I think that I love the movie so much. Much like Dorothy, I have come to realize, there is no place like home. I know that “home is (supposed to be)where you hang your hat” and it is… but there’s more to it than that. I am not sure if say, northern people feel this way about the north, but the south is so unique. We have missed it so. Not just the weather- though after all the rain that is here – a drought won’t be so tough to deal with. No, the south has qualities that we have found no where else on our journeys. The manners, yes ma’am, no sir. Gentlemen opening the door – chivalry. It just doesn’t seem to exist anywhere else.
So now, we are going to follow that yellow brick road to hopefully one last stop. Not exactly the south I grew up in, probably not going to find many red dirt roads in Florida, but, the kids will have their own versions now – instead of red dirt roads and hot rod cars speeding down them, maybe they will have warm sandy beaches, bon fires by the ocean and endless days of surfing…who knows where the yellow brick road will lead them?