Baby Bison, don't tread on that pretty flower...

Baby Bison, don't tread on that pretty flower...
Custer State Park, SD; June, 2010

About Me

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Columbia, TN, United States
I am a Christian, married over 43 years to my gorgeous first wife; in 13th year as professor of education at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, TN; 4 children and 9 grandchildren.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

No Place Like It in the World!

Dorothy may have been a little slow in the catching-on-department, but by the end of her excursion into, through, out of, and back to the Emerald City, she was repeating the phrase, “There’s no place like home; there’s no place like home…” Whether following a golden road with a couple of guys made of straw and tin and a chicken lion; riding a hot air balloon with a bogus sham wizard; or clicking ruby-slippered heels together three times (btw: they were silver in the original L. Frank Baum book); returning home after any trip can be extremely gratifying (whether a weekend getaway to your alma mater for a quick visit with a grandchild or a 30-day solo adventure to the Arctic Ocean). Home means the familiar positioning of favorite foods in pantry and fridge; the desktop pc that connects easily and efficiently to email or Facebook accounts; that plush, oversized recliner properly positioned for television viewing, reading, or snoozing; and, of course, YOUR pillow that attaches perfectly under head and neck to allow for a night’s serenity…all indicate the marvels of just being home.

It’s been inadequately yet domestically stated that, “Home is where the heart is.” Perhaps you’ve heard, “Home is where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” I’ve called a lot of places “home” in my 62 years. I began my life, so I’ve been told (even read it on my birth certificate), in Washington, D.C. During my first few years of existence, I supposedly followed (I didn’t have a vote) my reporter Dad and stay-at-home Mom as they barnstormed ‘cross country from our nation’s capitol to Huntington, West Virginia; South Bend, Indiana (never quite became an Irish fan); and Aberdeen, South Dakota. When I was three years old, we finally settled in New Orleans. I lived there for my school daze from kindergarten through grade 11 – longer than I’ve lived any one other place. Twelfth grade and college were spent in Searcy, Arkansas. Upon my marriage to my wife Delores, over 40 years ago, the home shifts – mostly career-related greener-pasture searches – continued to be extreme.

During those next three decades we were “at home” in Augusta, Arkansas; Ironton, Missouri; Shreveport, Louisiana; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Dallas, Texas; Phoenix, Arizona; San Angelo, Texas; Jackson, Tennessee; and finally to our house here in Columbia, Tennessee.

We’ve arrived over our rainbow! It only took us slightly longer than Toto’s mistress to decide our hearts have finally landed for good. Now completing our 13th year (lucky number for us) in the same house in this town that nicely mixes tradition, charm, and progress, we believe we are here to stay. No, our new hometown, like us and all our friends, is far from perfect; but we enjoy a quiet neighborhood (except when the public transport van backs up activating it's ear-piercing alarm as it picks up our neighbor at 5:30 a.m. three daze a week), loving church family, the conveniences of Nashville (including an airport to fly us to our seven grandkids who live in four different states), and are both in jobs for which we actually like getting out of bed each day.

So what is home really? Perhaps it’s just a place; or maybe a mindset – comfortable and comforting at the same time – where the “lions and tigers and bears, oh my” won’t get you (did you know there are actually 40 "Oz" books with the first 14 written by Baum). For certain it’s all about the people. As Dorothy told the good witch Glinda describing what she had learned from her yellow-brick trek through Oz, “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won't look any farther than my own backyard.” Moles and ruts and dandelions aside, my Columbia yard has become very special...I’m HOME and there's no place like it in the world!

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