Monday, July 30, 2012

During the “Golden Age” of Hollywood, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios put all its eggs in one basket – along with a little dog, too. Amidst much media hype, MGM premiered The Wizard of Oz in 1939, hoping to ride the tailcoat of Disney’s success with its fairytale Snowhite and the Seven Dwarfs. The movie-making powerhouse left nothing on the yellow brick road in the making or promoting of its film, but another much-anticipated, highly controversial epic tale blew it away at the box office. Gone With The Wind, even with all of its problems and setbacks, was the easy victor between the two at the time. Scarlet O’Hara is really hardly a fair opponent for little Dorothy Gale, but over time the popularity gap between the two movies has lessened and each remains in the top 10 of the top 100 movies of all time, according to the American Film Institute which lists GWTH at four and Oz at six. In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy, who has been trying to get home to Kansas, finally gets a little hint from the Good Witch of the North (which, incidentally, in the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, is the Good Witch of the South. I wonder if that was changed in the script because of Scarlet… hmmm). Dorothy needs to click her heels three times and chant “there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.” Listed as one of the most quoted movie lines ever (though well behind “Frankly, my dear…"), Dorothy’s sentiments are just so simple and true. The kids and I felt it the closer we got to home on Sunday. I packed up the cabin on Sunday after worshipping with the church at Goodman Oaks church of Christ and we moved home to prepare the girls for school which begins in just over a week. The summer hasn’t gone quite as efficiently as we had hoped because of a couple of trips home, two during which we battled our own sicknesses, and Eli’s bumpy road, but because of the efforts of the people at Jellystone Campground and RV Resort Park in Horn Lake, Mississippi, our family was able to have quick access to each other and spend time together as a family when we could. I will not be able to adequately express our gratitude for the people there and for the facility that they offer. The kids and I, mostly, stayed at Jellystone while Vic and Eli lived at Target House. St. Jude only allows four family members including the patient to stay at Target House, the apartment housing supporting St. Jude. Vic and I wanted to be close to Eli and wanted the kids to get to be with Eli when he could be around them in an attempt to preserve our family unit. It’s interesting – just a quick side note here – before I even knew Vic, he has said he chose a career path in college and subsequently jobs that would keep him at home with his family, and I’ve always said I didn’t marry him just to be away from him, nor did I have kids just to be away from them, so all these years we’ve been making choices and sacrifices to put our unity as a family first and this monster takes a swipe at us. It is frustrating. Anyway, back to Jellystone: A tremendous burden was lifted when we found this place. The owners were generous and flexible with us and our situation, and the people we met that work the grounds, Tom and Linda, were friendly and helpful. Carole in the office was nothing short of a blessing to us as we just had to kind of take each day as it came. By the way, please, pray for her sister who is currently fighting breast cancer. The campground itself is clean, well-maintained, quiet, and attracts (for the most part, there is always the exception to everything) a conscientious clientele (I hate smoking at the pool. That would be my only disappointment is that they allow smoking at the pool. I have never understood why smokers think just because they are outside that the stench they are blowing in the air somehow transforms into roses. It still stinks, and my kids, and yours, are still breathing it). The cabin was perfect for our needs. It was clean and well equipped with the necessities, plus the kids loved the loft. The location is convenient to anything and more than we needed, plus it was an easy drive to Target House or St. Jude, well within what we drive to church here at home. It was not the summer we expected, nor the summer for which we had hoped, but the burden which was laid upon us was lessened by the good people of Jellystone. Just as many of you did this summer, we created memories with our family, too.

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