Land of Oz

Image by neotenist / Pixabay

Over the weekend, we took a drive out to the coast where my family has a memorial bench in honor of my parents. Sitting there, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, I tried to imagine what my mother’s reaction would be to all the changes that have occurred in the fourteen years since she’s been gone.

When Mom was in the final stages of her illness, Barack Obama had just been elected. I remember her excitedly inviting all of us into her hospital room for what she called an “Obama-rama” (to the chagrin of some other family members who shall remain nameless). She would be stunned by developments and revelations that have taken place in our country’s political arena since his election.

Wildfires and the threat of rising sea levels would no doubt have sent her to the nearest showroom to be among the first in her office to drive an all-electric vehicle, believing that she was doing her part to preserve the planet for the six great-grandchildren that would come along.

Faced with the global pandemic, Mom would have unfailingly complied with health mandates and accepted a vaccination as soon as one was available.

As much as she loved her small Bichon Frise, Buddy, my mother would have had a hard time with the ubiquitous presence of dogs in places such as restaurants, stores and in airplane cabins. I can see her look of disapproval now. In fact, I was guilty of flashing that look myself on a cross-country flight a couple of years ago. The woman across the aisle from me had stuffed her little dog in a soft carrier under the seat in front of her. I don’t know if it was the altitude or something that dog ate beforehand, but it passed gas for the entire duration of the flight.

Always on top of things, Mom would have shaken her head in disbelief at recent issues in the news—from the war in Ukraine, to our own mass shootings, denial of access to health care, an unstable economy, crypto currency, and the worrisome grip of AI. She’d have settled back into her recliner with Buddy in her lap and said, “I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

4 replies on “Land of Oz”

I always enjoy your style of writing and the content you cover. I imagine your mother would have been so proud of your written word. 💓 And you her


Hi Brenda, Love this. I always enjoy your writing . . . how you make connections. I especially like how you tied it all together with the last line, “I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” Marlene



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