CONVERSATION WITH…A Kitten…Wondering If He Will Be Someone’s Last Pet

As I walked through a doorway Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I noticed a kitten who seemed to be searching for something.

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Can I help you?

KITTEN: I’m looking for a home.  I need someone to take care of me.

Well, I’ve had lots of cats in my life.  Growing up, I had a black cat, Midnight, who lived a good, long life.  And then, when I was in my twenties, I had another gray striped cat, Hamlet.  He lived a long life, too. When he died, I got Teddy, my black and white cat.  And when his long life ended, I got a Maine Coon cat, Bosley.  He died last year.

KITTEN: It sounds like you’re a good cat mommy.  What’s your name?

Cathi.

KITTEN: Cathi, will you be my cat mommy? Take care of me?

Uh…I’m not sure I can do that.  I mean, I’m older now.  You might be my last cat.  You’re just a baby and your whole life’s ahead of you.  What if you live longer than I do?

KITTEN: Well—

Or what if I get too old to hold you in my arms?

KITTEN: Then—

Or what if I can’t bend over someday, so I won’t be able to give you your cat food?

KITTEN: Uh—

Or what if my legs become too frail to play with you?

KITTEN: Well—

Or what if my hands are unsteady so I can’t pet you?

KITTEN: But—

Or what if I run out of money and can’t afford to buy you food?

KITTEN: Well—

Or what if—

KITTEN: Cathi?

Yes?

KITTEN: I just want to be with you.

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CONVERSATION WITH…The Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe… Thinking of Downsizing

Walking along the Yellow Brick Road, I passed a ridiculously large shoe with a sign near it that said, “For Sale.”  I was curious, knocked on the shoe, and an old woman climbed out.

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OMG!  Are you the old woman who lives in a shoe? The one who had so many children she didn’t know what to do?  From the Nursery Rhyme?

OLD WOMAN IN SHOE:  That’s me.   But I’m downsizing.  Want to buy a shoe?  Make me an offer.

Well, my husband and I are thinking about downsizing, but we’re not ready yet.  I mean, we live in a charming, old house, but our kids have grown up and now it’s just the two of us. So much extra space.

OLD WOMAN IN SHOE: I know the feeling.  Believe it or not, all my kids have grown and left, too.  Who would have imagined the Old Woman in the Shoe would be an empty nester?

So, are you thinking of living in a smaller shoe?

OLD WOMAN IN SHOE: Maybe a sandal. It would be a lot easier to clean. The only issue is, a sandal isn’t enclosed so I’d have to live in a country where it doesn’t rain. Maybe Costa Rica.

I’m actually struggling with the whole downsizing idea.  On one hand, every time I walk down the hall past my son’s room, and then my daughter’s room, I feel so sad.  It’s the end of an era.  There are so many memories here.

OLD WOMAN IN SHOE: I know.  I feel the same way. But then I think, all these memories are bringing me down.  How great would it feel to let go, start a new chapter in my life in a new home in a new place!  It would be uplifting!

True. But what if we have grandchildren?  Wouldn’t it be great to have them over in our big home and tell them they’re in the place where their parents grew up?

OLD WOMAN IN SHOE: Yes. But wouldn’t that get old kinda fast?

I guess it might.  I mean, last week my son came to visit.  Even though we were in our house, I started to realize it was the conversation we were having and the laughs and silliness between us that made it “home.” 

OLD WOMAN IN SHOE:  Right.

And when my daughter comes to visit next week, the gigantic hug I give her at the airport will feel like “home.”  I guess “home” is a sensibility.  Not a place.

OLD WOMAN IN SHOE:  WE are home.

Yes.

OLD WOMAN IN SHOE: But here’s my problem. I always thought I’d live out my days as “the old woman who lived in a shoe.”  It’s the way the world sees me. I didn’t expect life to go in this direction.

Yeah.  It’s painful to change the picture you have in your head. 

OLD WOMAN IN SHOE: So painful.

But as long as you’re making changes, who says you have to live in a shoe anyway?  I mean, you could live in anything.  A sock.  A hat.  Underwear.

OLD WOMAN IN SHOE: Hmmm…underwear might be good.  Three entrances.

I see your point.

OLD WOMAN IN SHOE: Wait!  Actually, I just got a better idea!   I just thought of the greatest place to live ever!  It’s got five, narrow rooms and no stairs!

Sounds good.

OLD WOMAN IN SHOE: But if I live there, I’ll have to rewrite my rhyme. How’s this?

“There was an old woman

With children to love.

But when they grew up…

She moved to a glove.”

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CONVERSATION WITH…A Claustrophobic Caterpillar…Trying To Cope With Inevitable Changes

As I climbed Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, suddenly I heard a small voice screaming from below! I looked down and realized I’d almost stepped on a panic stricken caterpillar.  I had to apologize!

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Caterpillar!  I’m so sorry!

CATERPILLAR: You almost gave me a heart attack!

I didn’t see you there!

CATERPILLAR: That’s what they all say.

Seriously!  Are you okay?

CATERPILLAR: As okay as I’m gonna get right now.  I’ve got bigger problems.

Like what?

CATERPILLAR: Like, I’ve been putting off going in a cocoon until the last possible minute. I’m claustrophobic.  But now the time has come.

I feel your pain. I’m claustrophobic, too.

CATERPILLAR: Really?

Yeah. I don’t do elevators, tunnels, airplanes, MRIs…whenever I can avoid them.

CATERPILLAR: Well I can’t avoid going in my cocoon anymore.  I’m exhausted all the time.  I’m always starving and stuffing my face with leaves.  I’m not the caterpillar I used to be. Every part of my body is telling me this part of my life is over.

 So, before you go in your cocoon, why don’t you take a Xanax?  Or have a glass of wine?  I have a glass when I take short plane flights. It takes the edge off for a few hours. 

CATERPILLAR: We’re not talking hours here, we’re talking weeks.

Well, at least you only have to go in your cocoon one time.  Then it’s over! And you’ll be able to fly!  Don’t you want to fly?

CATERPILLAR: No.  I love crawling.  I don’t want to give up my feet.

I hear ya. 

CATERIPLLAR: And I don’t want this part of my life to be over.

I know!!!!  I have two kids and I loved bringing them up.  But they’ve grown up and just left home.  I don’t want this part of my life to be over either.

CATERPILLAR: We’re soulmates.

Yes. But it seems the universe is pushing us to move on. We have no choice.

CATERPILLAR: Yup. I have to fly.

I have to fly, too.   I mean, my daughter lives far away now. If I’m able to get myself to sit in a plane for five hours, I can visit her a lot.  And if I’m able to fly even longer, I can see so many parts of the world. I’d like that.

CATERPILLAR: Maybe flying will open new doors for me too. Maybe I’m part of something bigger that I can’t see. So, I guess I’ll take you up on that bottle of wine.

I said a GLASS…

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THE FOLLOW UP:

Weeks later, the caterpillar came out of her cocoon! Though she had a major hangover…

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…after a few hours she was able to fly in a straight line.  And me?  Well, since I’m still Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, when I click my heels together I can visit my daughter in a flash. It works for now.  But…if you’re a bad flyer too, I’d love to hear from you.  What do you do on a plane to avoid jumping out of your skin?

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CONVERSATION WITH…THE QUIET 

Walking Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I plopped down in a peaceful meadow and had a conversation with…the quiet.

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Quiet? I can’t see you, but I can feel you.  Are you there?

THE QUIET: Yes.

Oh!  I’m sooo glad!  Because I need to be here with you, alone with my thoughts. I just need to be in timeless, empty space to think and feel out where I belong in the world.  Are you okay having me here?  

THE QUIET:  Yes.

You don’t say very much, do you?

THE QUIET:  No.

Anyway…here’s the thing. I’m in between worlds. I mean, I used to think quiet was a bad thing.  I thought “quiet” was something to avoid.  It wasn’t enough to be alone with quietness.  It was depressing and empty.

THE QUIET:  Uh huh.

But now I love the quiet. When I’m with you, my thoughts roam free. Maybe they’ll find a place to land. I notice things around me. My feelings intensify. 

THE QUIET:  Uh huh.

I need to sort things out. To look back at where I’ve been and where I’m going…inside my older body. What kinds of adjustments can I make so I won’t be anxious or depressed as I unveil new, passionate feelings?  I don’t know.  I need to be in the quiet. For days or weeks or months…

THE QUIET:  Uh huh.

Do you mind that I’m rambling?

THE QUIET:  No.

Oh good! Because I need to be here with you, alone with my thoughts. I just need to be in timeless, empty space to think and feel out where I belong in the world.  Are you okay having me here?

THE QUIET:  Yes.

You don’t say very much, do you?

THE QUIET:  No.

Anyway…here’s the thing..

 

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CONVERSATION WITH…An Autumn Leaf…Trying to Understand Why It Has To Go

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road this morning, I was hiking through the woods when I heard an orange leaf cry, “I won’t do it!  I won’t do it!”  It sounded like leaf abuse so I checked it out.

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Leaf?  Should I call 911? What’s going on?

ORANGE LEAF: I won’t let go of this tree!  I love it here!  Everything I know is here!

So what’s the problem?  Hang onto your branch.

ORANGE LEAF: I can’t!  My stem is weak. I can’t hold on anymore.  Why is this happening to me?!

I wish I could tell you!  It seems to be the way of things. For all of us.

ORANGE LEAF: But it’s crazy! I mean, I don’t know how I got here in the first place. And now I don’t understand why I have to leave.

I know the feeling.  Everyone does.

ORANGE LEAF: I’m not ready to go. I love life. I had a great budhood.  I had the best greenage years.  I love making shade. I love dancing when there’s a breeze.  And there are so many memories here!  The day the kite got stuck.  The bird that built her nest here. The day her eggs hatched. Watching her babies learning to fly.  And while it was all happening, somehow I turned orange. I was so busy I didn’t notice.

It happens fast.  For everyone.

ORANGE LEAF: But I don’t want to go!  I don’t want my life to end!

It isn’t going to. You’re just moving on to a different phase.

ORANGE LEAF: How do you know?

Because I can see there’s a lot beyond you that you haven’t experienced and don’t understand.

ORANGE LEAF: Like what?

Well, you’ve never seen the ocean.

ORANGE LEAF: The what?

And you’ve never seen a mountain range, a canyon, a desert, a volcano —

ORANGE LEAF: What are you talking about??  Why is it that YOU’RE able to see all these things?

Because I have a car.

ORANGE LEAF: A what?

It’s not important. I’m just saying, when you let go, you’ll be ending one phase but starting another.  You’re part of something bigger even though you can’t see it right now.

ORANGE LEAF: Well, how am I gonna get where I’m going? So I can see all these things?

The wind will carry you.  Have faith.

ORANGE: Ugh. There’s so much I don’t understand.

Me too…

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CONVERSATION WITH…A Floor…Having Panic Attacks About Aging

While strolling Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, trying to figure out where I belong in the world as I grow older… it suddenly started pouring! Out of nowhere!  I ran for cover!  Fortunately, an old, rickety house was nearby. I dashed onto the front porch!  To calm myself down, I started a conversation with the floor…

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Floor! I’m so sorry I’m stomping all over you and getting you wet–

FLOOR: It’s not an issue.

Right.  You’re a floor.  Don’t mind me.  I panic when I’m stuck in rainstorms, especially because I’m older.  I worry I could slip in a puddle and twist my ankle, break my hip, pull out my back–

FLOOR: Say no more. I’m older, too.  Even when it’s not raining, sometimes I get weird symptoms out of nowhere and go crazy.

Same here!

FLOOR: Sometimes, out of nowhere, my floor nails stick up.  Maybe I’m sagging because I’m older. But when it happens, I think I’m dying.

Makes sense to me.

FLOOR: But then, someone comes along and hammers my nails back in and I’m fine. And I’m embarrassed I made such a ruckus.

I do the same thing. If my back starts to hurt for no reason, I panic and make all kinds of doctors’ appointments and get every pain medication available in the United States. But then…when I rest and have patience and listen to my body…in time my back gets better and I feel like an idiot for driving everyone around me nuts.

FLOOR: Sometimes when it’s humid outside, I warp for no reason.  I think I’m doomed and I’ll stay that way forever.  But then, dry air passes through and I straighten out.

Sometimes, if I suddenly feel light headed, I think I’m having a heart attack or a stroke.  It takes me a while to calm myself down and remember I could be slightly dehydrated or maybe there’s poor air circulation in the room I’m sitting in.

FLOOR: Sometimes when people step on me in a certain way, I creak, out of nowhere. Then other times, I don’t creak.  I get scared. I don’t know what the random creaking’s about.  I assume it’s the beginning of the end.

Sometimes my knees hurt when I walk downstairs. Other times, they’re fine.

FLOOR: It’s so hard being on this side of life. I mean, anything can be wrong, but I always assume the worst.

Me too. The “out of nowhere” symptoms are scary.  It’s hard to be rational.

FLOOR: Right.  Once in a while,  I feel like covering myself with an area rug to reduce my chances of having random symptoms.

Sometimes the thought of staying in my house all day, every day, feels comforting.

FLOOR: But then our worlds will grow smaller and smaller.  If we cover ourselves up, we’ll also be shutting ourselves out.

I know.  Anyway…I’m glad we’re going through this together.  It makes me believe somehow we’re all part of something bigger.

FLOOR: I agree. Maybe in my next life I’ll come back as a ceiling.  Seeing the world from a different angle would be cool.

FOLLOW UP:

At that moment, out of nowhere, the rain stopped. The clouds parted,  the sun started to dry us off, and the floor and I celebrated making it through yet another crisis.  We exchanged warm good-byes, and I walked down the front steps slowly so I wouldn’t smash my head.

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CONVERSATION WITH…A Traffic Light…Wanting to Make the World a Better Place in His Old Age

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I decided to ask the Wizard of Oz where I belong in the world as I grow older.  When I got to the Emerald City, there was a line to see the Wizard.  A traffic light was waiting to see him, too.  We started a conversation…

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Hey Traffic Light, what brings you here to see the Wizard?

TRAFFIC LIGHT: I’m bored. When I turn green, cars go. When I turn red, cars stop.  When I turn yellow, cars slow down.  Day after day, night after night, week after week, month after month, year after year—

So you want to ask the Wizard for something new that will inspire you?  A new purpose in life?  A new reason for your existence?

TRAFFIC LIGHT: Exactly.

Actually, in some ways, I envy you.

TRAFFIC LIGHT: Why??

I have a son and a daughter who are young adults.  When I talk to them, I feel like a traffic light, too. But for me, it doesn’t go so smoothly.

TRAFFIC LIGHT: How so?

I can never decide if it’s the right time to tell my kids to stop!  Or go!  Or when to warn them of upcoming danger without making them crazy!

TRAFFIC LIGHT: I’m not sure what you mean.

Well, if I think my son should follow a certain career path, I’ll say to him, “Go! Go for it!” But it doesn’t matter. He does what he wants…when he wants.

TRAFFIC LIGHT: What about your daughter?

If she’s doing a million things at the same time and loses her sense of self, I’ll say, “Stop!  Stop! Put your feet on the ground!”  But it doesn’t matter. She does what she wants anyway.

TRAFFIC LIGHT: I see…

And my yellow light doesn’t work so well either.  If I try to warn my kids of upcoming potential danger, they’ll say, “Mom, please.  You worry all the time.”  Again, they do what they want.

TRAFFIC LIGHT: Even if they don’t do exactly what you ask, do you think on some level they hear you?  Might you be some kind of underlying voice?

I’m not sure.

TRAFFIC LIGHT: Maybe you should be glad you raised your kids to be independent.  You won’t be here forever.  Be proud they want to live their own lives.

I just had no idea this part of parenting was going to be so excrutiatingly painful.

TRAFFIC LIGHT: Well, I had no idea being a traffic light was going to be so excrutiatingly boring.

I don’t see you that way. I see the world as a chaotic place right now.  Sometimes I think there isn’t enough structure and order.  You remind me there are rules to follow for good reasons. Imagine how many people would be hurt if you weren’t hanging out in the world.

TRAFFIC LIGHT: I suppose you’re right. I hadn’t thought of myself that way.

I think you belong in the world now more than ever!

TRAFFIC LIGHT:  And I think you’re creating an underlying  structure for your kids that they need now more than ever!

THE FOLLOW UP: 

At that moment, the door to the Wizard’s chamber opened and the traffic light and I entered.  The Wizard felt there was one thing missing in our lives: a directional signal.  He immediately put one on the traffic light.  Now the traffic light sends vehicles off in different directions where they can have new adventures. And me? Every time I think of that directional signal, I’m reminded my children are probably listening to me…in their own way.

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Conversation with…A Peach…With A Pit In His Stomach

Wandering Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I ran into a peach tree surrounded by raspberry, blackberry and blueberry bushes.  I noticed one peach hanging low on a branch and moping.  I had to find out why…

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Uh, Peach, I know it’s none of my business, but why are you moping?

PEACH: No one will ever want me.

What? Why?

PEACH: Here’s the bottom line.  I’m a peach.  I know I’m ultimately going to be eaten. I get that and I’m on board with it.

So why wouldn’t anyone want you?

PEACH: Because I have a pit.  I mean, look around us.  There are blueberries, blackberries, raspberries everywhere.  All you have to do is pick them and eat them. But if you pick me, you have to deal with my pit.  Why bother? There’s enough stress in the world.

You think your pit is stressful?

PEACH: I know it’s stressful!  After you eat me, what are you supposed to do with my pit? Put it in your pocket? Carry it around with you all day? Stuff it in your purse?

Well, if it makes you feel better, sometimes I feel a pit inside me, too…a pit in my stomach.

PEACH: You don’t resemble a peach in any shape or form.

I’m not talking about a literal pit. It’s an emotional pit.  Whenever I think people don’t accept me because I’m older, I feel a pit in my stomach.

PEACH: That stinks. When does it happen?

Well…when I’m in a trendy clothing store, if a salesgirl looks at me, I assume she’s wondering what the heck I’m doing there because I’m older.  I get that pit in my stomach.

PEACH: I see–

That’s the tip of the iceberg. When a repairman is on his way to my home to fix something, as soon as I open my front door, I feel that pit in my stomach.  I assume when he sees me he’s saying to himself, “Ugh. She’s older.”

PEACH: This goes pretty deep.

And when I apply for jobs, it’s the worst! As soon as I meet the hiring manager, the pit in my stomach shows up again. 

PEACH: What makes you so sure people are obsessed with the “older” stuff?

Because I don’t live on the Yellow Brick Road.  Where I come from, there are lots of unspoken messages about aging.  Like, being older is annoying, boring, depressing.  Older is something to avoid or dread. The idea is to look young.

PEACH: I’ll be honest with you.  When I first saw you, I noticed you were older.

I didn’t need to hear that.

PEACH: But! That’s not what I was focused on!  I was drawn to your personality, your sensibility, your spirit. That’s what makes you interesting.

Okay then, I’ll be honest with you.  Since you’re a peach, when I first saw you, I assumed you had a pit.

PEACH: I knew it!

But!  That’s not what I was focused on!  I was looking at your beautiful peach fuzz skin and your stunning shades of yellow and dark pink.  And I was thinking about how delicious you might be.

PEACH: So you don’t have an issue with my pit?

Not at all!  In fact, peaches are the best!  I can’t imagine the world without them!  You have your own, exclusive flavor.  You have a place in the world that’s unique to you.

PEACH; Same to you!

You didn’t have to say that.

PEACH: I know. I couldn’t think of anything else to say.  But here’s something I feel sure of. The next time I start obsessing with my pit, maybe I can say to myself, “Pit, I know you’re not going anywhere, but you have no right to screw up my life.”

I’m with you!  Maybe the pits in our stomachs will always be there, but we’ll never allow them to define us.

 

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CONVERSATION WITH…A House…Remembering Its Past

When you’re traveling Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, it’s a good idea to keep looking up. You never know if a cyclone carrying a house will crash land in front of you. This actually happened to me.   The small country house I lived in every summer when I was a little girl fell from the sky.  I had to ask if it remembered me!

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Uh—summerhouse? Do you remember–

SUMMERHOUSE: Cathi!

Yes!  It’s meeee!  How did you know?  I haven’t seen you since I was nine. 

SUMMERHOUSE:  I remember you…

little cathi

SUMMERHOUSE: Your eyes and smile are the same.

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SUMMERHOUSE: How did you recognize ME with my makeover?  When you lived in me, I had white, shabby shingles and dark green trim around my windows.  And there was a screen on my front door and I had a screened in porch.  Now I’m yellow, I got a roof lift and–

I see you had some work done.   But your structure and lines are the same. I knew it was you.  You look amazing!

SUMMERHOUSE: Thank you. But I must say…even though I look younger on the outside, I can’t escape knowing I’m still older on the inside.

I know the feeling.

SUMMERHOUSE: Why did your family stop coming to live in me so abruptly?  All of sudden, I never saw you again!  It has been fifty-four years!

I know. There was a terrible tragedy in my family.  My mother, grandmother and grandfather died in a car accident.  My father remarried and we moved to the suburbs.

SUMMEROUSE: Oh my dear! I’m so very, very sorry.  Of all the families I’ve had inside me, yours was the most fun loving.

Thank you. So many beautiful memories are here…

SUMMERHOUSE: Yes….I remember when you lived here, early every morning, you’d sneak into your grandma’s bed–

Oh yeah! I snuggled up with her and we sang songs she knew when she was a little girl!  And when everyone in the family woke up, we ate breakfast–

SUMMERHOUSE: In my kitchen!  Around my big table–

And my mom made warm cinnamon buns with vanilla icing!   And then my sister and I played with paper dolls for hours and hours and hours–

SUMMERHOUSE: In my den—

Yes!  We cut out all the dresses in the booklet, put them on the dolls, and imagined they were going to parties.  And then we made the dolls houses, and made their beds out of towels–

SUMMERHOUSE: From my linen closet–

Right! Then my dad gave us piggy back rides–

SUMMERHOUSE: All around my yard!  But you had to remember to duck when you went under my cherry tree.

Ha ha!  Yes! Then we ate lunch—

SUMMEROUSE: In my screened in porch.  You were afraid of the bees that came in, but you never got stung.

And after lunch, I went on the swings—

SUMMERHOUSE: In my back yard.  You went higher and higher–

I was daydreaming!  And then!  Remember my sister and I fed the cows apples?

SUMMERHOUSE Of course!  Because a dairy farm was next to my fence.  The cows used to poke their heads through.

And after dinner, my sister and I built make believe neighborhoods–

SUMMERHOUSE: On my gravel driveway!  I remember you piled my gravel so high, no one could get out of the garage.

Ha ha! And when it started to get dark, I sat next to my grandma—

SUMMERHOUSE: On my little front porch—

And we smelled the honeysuckles, and watched the fireflies come out.

SUMMERHOUSE: Those were most special times…

Yes! Oh!  How I wish I could fling your front screen door open again and run inside and play the way I used to!

SUMMERHOUSE: I wish you could, too!   But… you’ve probably noticed…my screen door isn’t there anymore.  Now it’s a wooden door with a glass panel.  And my kitchen table is gone.  I have an island with stools around it.

That seems to be what people like today. What happened to your screened in porch?

SUMMERHOUSE: Over time, there were too many holes in it.  A builder tore it down and made it into a bedroom. And my gravel driveway is covered with tar.

What about the dairy farm next door?

SUMMERHOUSE: Now it’s a horse ranch. The cows behind my fence are gone. And my cherry tree fell to the ground during a terrible storm years ago.

Oooh…How very strange life is…

SUMMERHOUSE: How very, very strange…

How is it possible that the home where I felt so safe and free isn’t mine anymore?  How can it belong to another family?

SUMMERHOUSE: I guess it’s the way of things.

You know, I’m traveling Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road to figure out where I belong in the world.  But now… I feel more lost than ever.

SUMMERHOUSE: Maybe all your memories here have helped you become the person you are today.  What do you do?

I’m writer for children.

SUMMERHOUSE: Oh!  A writer!  How wonderful!  I’m so proud! And I think then you are still very much needed in the world today.

Where do you see me belonging?

SUMMERHOUSE: I believe you belong to the world of stories. You’re meant to go on writing about new places and new things for as long as you’re here.  And you and I will always belong to each other. I will belong in your past, and you will belong in mine.

You know, if I didn’t know you were a house, I’d think you were the Wizard of Oz.

SUMMERHOUSE: And If I only had a mouth, I would smile.

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At that very moment, the house had to excuse itself. It felt someone scribbling on its bedroom wall.  The new little girl living inside was probably up to no good. So, as I left the house behind, I thought about where I’d like to go next and share a story.  I closed my eyes, clicked my heels together and recited to myself, “There’s no place like Rome.  There’s no place like Rome.”

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CONVERSATION WITH…An Older Shower Cap Who Started A New Relationship

As I grow older, I tend to isolate myself.  I feel safer in my own world or sticking with people I already know.  However, since I’m traveling Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road to find where I belong these days, I feel obligated to push myself beyond my comfort zone. So, this morning I started a conversation with a shower cap.   It was awkward at first.

shower cap on bed

Hey shower cap, I like your elastic.

SHOWER CAP:  Really?  I think it’s getting kind of stretched out and shabby.

Oh.  Okay. I guess my perspective is off.

SHOWER CAP:  Are you from around here?  You don’t look familiar.

I’m just visiting… looking for my smile or a new way to look at life as I get older.

SHOWER CAP:  I know what you mean.  I just made a life change, but it took a lot of soul searching. I spent a lot of time thinking about what was important to me and what I could let go of.

You mean, what’s central to your being vs. what you’d rather not deal with anymore?

SHOWER CAP:  Exactly. I realized I’m sick and tired of getting wet all the time.

That’s totally understandable.

SHOWER CAP:  But I also have a strong, protective side. I’ve spent my life protecting hair in the shower and it’s given me a great sense of purpose.

I’ve always been a fan of shower caps.

SHOWER CAP:  Thanks. So I decided to continue being protective, but I want to bring out that side of myself in a different way.

Have you had any luck?

SHOWER CAP: Yes!  Last week at the movies, I met a very full bucket of popcorn who couldn’t hold onto all her kernels.  The kernels on top kept falling on the floor. It didn’t come naturally to me,  but I pushed myself to offer to help.  I ended up covering the top of the popcorn bucket and preventing the kernels from falling.

Very protective of you!

SHOWER CAP:  Yes!  Now we’re an item. Here we are:

shower cap with two eyes

Cute couple.

SHOWER CAP:  Thank you. How about you?  Have you met anyone new who makes you smile?

Well, I’ve met lots of creatures Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, and they’ve been inspiring. But oddly, they’re not the ones who make me smile every single day.

SHOWER CAP:  Well then, who does?

The actual human beings who read this blog.

SHOWER CAP: I’m in a blog?

Yes! In fact, every time I write a post and people comment, relate, or just “like” what I have to say, it brings the biggest smile to my face. They are my sparks.  I’m grateful we can share our stories.

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The biggest shout-out of all goes to fellow blogger Maria Wen Adcock. She writes an awesome blog that touches the lives of many: http://www.biculturalmama.com.  Maria helped me start overthehillontheyellowbrickroad.wordpress.com and is a shining star.

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