Where’s Toto?

I’m still in recovery mode from the surgery, working on revisions on one of my manuscripts (I will get it done, I will get it done!) and my knee is bothering me. Not hurting me, though it would if I pushed it past the fifty degree mark. No, it’s been straight all day except for the few times I worked out the bending and those exercises. But, you know? You never really  miss being able to bend your leg until you can’t. So I just tried . And it came to me as I squeaked and groaned to move it into position, that this is what the Tin Man must have felt like before Dorothy arrived and found the oil can. To be locked in the same position endlessly…well, I’m just thankful this is only 6 weeks’ worth. But even that makes you go stir crazy. Heck, it’s been a week and I want to sit cross-legged. That’s a long way off.

So Dorothy shows up, oils his joints and I’m reminded of that satisfying “ahhh” he lets out as the joints squeak to life. His surreal smile. Moving it around and around. The stiffness when he tries to walk again.

It’s funny, the things you remember sometimes. I mean, yes, I own the movie now, but who has the time these days? I remember how we used to look forward to staying up that one time a year when I was younger that it was on television – in the days before VCRs (yes, folks, it wasn’t THAT long ago!). I remember having jiffy pop popcorn my mom made, all of us putting our sleeping bags on the family room floor, getting in our bunny pajamas (or whatever those feet thingy pj’s were called), turning off the lights, laying on our stomachs with our pillows bunched under our arms and watching the black and white images of Mrs. Gulch as she stole poor Toto. Who didn’t cry with Dorothy?

Of course, the whole thing was even more poignant to me because the woman who used to come to our house for my  music lessons looked just like Mrs. Gulch. Trust me, I practiced! You do NOT want the Wicked Witch of the West becoming angry with you for not doing your scales. (Although, I must point out, Mrs. Spearing was one of the nicest ladies I’ve ever met. But that didn’t stop eight year old nightmares.)

What a night those nights were. Family bonding and staying up late. I try to do it with my kids on a rainy day. We’ll rent some movies, maybe order pay-per-view or on-demand, move the big comfy chairs closer to the tv, get the bean bag chairs out, make microwave popcorn, and let the wind howl around us. And yes, a few times, we’ve pulled out Dorothy. This new generation loves it as much as we did.

 Maybe I’ll do that tomorrow. This time I’ll cry with the Tin Man.


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