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“This is messy work. We cannot simply attend a meeting, carry a sign at a march, have our name listed in the minutes, make one or two follow-up phone calls, then give ourselves a pat on the back. Our efforts require experimentation, failure, learning curves, self-criticism, and the constant examination of new ideas. We cannot compartmentalize a little “civic corner” of our lives; rather, we have to examine every day how each of our actions can build a better, more nurturing society for everyone. And for the time being, until this new, life-serving economy is more fully developed, it may continue to go unnoticed, and it may receive a certain lack of respect. But true civic engagement is not about taking credit for a job well done. It is about making the world better for the next generation in an enduring way that honors our deepest beliefs and greatest hopes.” – Shannon Hayes (author of Radical Homemakers)
Witch: And you, my dear, what an unexpected pleasure. It’s so kind of you to visit me in my loneliness.
Dorothy: What are you gonna do with my dog? Give him back to me.
Witch: All in good time, my little pretty. All in good time.
Dorothy: Oh please give me back my dog.
Witch: Certainly, certainly, when you give me those slippers.
Dorothy: But the Good Witch of the North told me not to.
Witch: Very well. (To her winged-monkey captain) Throw that basket in the river and drown him.
Dorothy: No, no. Here, you can have your old slippers but give me back Toto.
Witch: That’s a good little girl. I knew you’d see reason.
– The Wizard of Oz (1939)
I’ve seen reason. But, as we all know, the witch loses in the end and so will frustration. My work here at home with these girls is radical world change in the making. Creating a lifestyle that presses boundaries, breaks walls, and reinvents the common experience, that is being the change. Every day I am being the change. Some days are better than others. But, each day we should strive for balance. Creator didn’t lead me down this path for naught. What I have recognized is that each and every step is important, and it isn’t always going to be as I envision, nor will it always be in my time frame. It isn’t going to look the same for me as it will others. Each day is new and has its own work. I have life and I have it abundantly. I’m never left without, and to struggle to gain something I haven’t lost in the first place is pointless.
The girls and I bailed out of the cabin on Friday and went to my in-laws for the rest of the weekend. I had made an attempt to clean some of the mold from the walls and floors, which taught me that this mold likes to give you an itchy sore throat. With both of the girls sick with what seems like a sore throat/cold thing, I felt it best to get out of the cabin for a few days and search out a dehumidifier.
For the girls, their grandparents’ house is like going into a dream filled wonderland. They are showered with attention, given too many sweets, allowed to watch TV on demand, and catered to in most every way. Both of them absolutely love to go and be with their grandparents, and I love that I get to watch them develop the same type of relationship that I had with my grandparents and great-grandparents. I also love the bit of letting go that I get. Nothing pressing down on me insisting to be done. I get to watch the History Channel too, which is always a luxury to me since we don’t have cable.
Halloween night came with a 90% chance of rain, and that it did. The in-laws went to their church to do Trunk or Treat, and I was left to get the girls ready and walk them around the holler and on up to the church later on. Deladis had gotten better in the day that we had been there, but Ivy was still sick. I worried whether or not either of them were fit to go, especially since Deladis passed out on the couch about 45 minutes before time to start getting ready. I couldn’t stand the thought of missing Halloween, so I woke Deladis and got both the girls ready despite the tears from a tired Deladis who was also very certain that she did want to go.
Taking their picture together before leaving the house was impossible.
Here you have Dorothy Gale from Kansas and a sick little flower munchkin from Oz. After a few attempts to take a good picture and this being the best of the three, we set out to see the Wizard.
We went to a few houses before heading up to the church. The rain drizzled on us, then sprinkled chubby little droplets, and I tried to make it quick. There is a sub-division (of the mountain variety) in the holler. It consists of about 15 upscale houses on both sides of the street. They were obviously in competition with each other on the treat giving. Whole chocolate bars, candy apples, and Capri Sun juice pouches soon filled our treat bag! Deladis said when handed a Mr. Goodbar, “This is the best treat I’ve never had!” Ivy waved hi and good-bye to everyone from my arms. She didn’t feel up to walking, but she is always the people person. The girls received many compliments on their costumes. One woman even thought I had made them. I wish I could, though I’m not as cool as Breedermama, I do take costuming very seriously.
At the church, we went around to 17 cars with decorated trunks and costumed treat givers. The church grilled hot dogs and gave out hot chocolate, chips, and deserts. Deladis ate like there was no tomorrow after almost fasting for the few days before. I took the girls inside the church to eat, and Ivy took off her hat, relieved. After eating, Deladis said she was ready to go home (the grandparents’ place).
Today, I clicked my heals three times and we were back in Kansas. I wish it were that easy. I unloaded and reloaded the truck with our things and the new dehumdifier, drove a fair piece, and walked a bit in the dark to get back to the cabin. The one thing that I love so very much is that though Oz is such a nice place to be that there is no place like home. The girls even think so too, and that makes me feel like I’m doing a good job. 🙂