Almost like Oz

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Thursday, August 1, 1913:

The month of August with skies serene

Smiles upon this world again.

Let us welcome her with open arms,

For sweet summer cannot always reign.

A big thunderstorm came up this afternoon. Just before it got here, I had gone off to one of the neighbors and Ma not knowing where I was had quite a hunt for me.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma! You should have told your mother where you were going. Didn’t you know that she’d worry even though you are a grown 18-year-old woman?

Your words make me think of Aunt Em hunting Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.

I know that you won’t have seen the movie –it wasn’t made until 1939—but did you read the book? According to Wikipedia, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum was published in 1900.

For information about the monthly poems sees this previous post:

Monthly Poem in Diary

28 Responses

  1. Interesting link of info :-). I have read the complete series of Oz books that were written by L. Frank Baum. Others continued it, but I decided to stop with what he wrote.

  2. When I read the title of your post ‘Almost Like Oz’ and saw the photo, I thought there was going to a reference to Australia the land of Oz, not the book re: WIzard of Oz.
    had to laugh
    (although the photo could be taken in Australia. its a bit greener though).

    • I learned something new from reading your comment–until now, I never realized that there was a place call Oz in Australia.

      • Oz is the slang name that refers to Australia as a whole. If you drawl in your speech Australia becomes Aus- tra- -lia which becomes OZ -tray – lia. We are the land of OZ.

  3. I was thinking Australia too; especially with the dry landscape in the photo.

  4. Aw…..I’m sure Grandma’s mother was frantic to find her. Hopefully the storm cooled down the temperature a little, so they’ll be more comfortable.
    Loved her poem!

  5. The first time I saw the Wizard of Oz, I had nightmares. That crazy witch riding a bike past the window, and her legs rolling up at the end. That might have freaked them right out in 1913. Maybe the book was less scary?

    • I also found the movie incredibly scary when I was a child. I was always especially frightened by the flying monkeys, and used to make my parents turn the TV off when it got to that part. I don’t think that I ever saw the entire movie until I was an adult.

  6. A mother never stops worrying. Maybe Grandma thought she could sneak away for a little while. :)

  7. Poor grandma. If she would have had a cell phone, her mother could have reached her to insure safety. How our world has changed. Perhaps your grandmother wanted to get away for a bit and have some time of her own just visiting friends, etc.

    • A college student recently told me that she could remember things from when she was really little–like back when her family didn’t have a cell phone. :)

      • Sheryl – I can do you one better. We were extremely rural in Kansas and the only way to get electricity was the farmers and ranchers formed a co-op to buy the poles for the electrical work to be accomplished. (Can you imagine).
        A telephone was a real luxury and I’d say our first phone must have been aroung my age 6 and then everytime we used it – it was long distance. That’s how far we were from every thing. It’s interesting to me how we take all these things for granted.

  8. Hopefully the storms broke the heat wave and brought much needed rain.

  9. I say it every month, but I just can’t believe it’s already poem time again! I love these verses, they always paint a picture of what the time of year is like. Do you think your Grandma got into trouble for being out in the storm without anyone knowing where she was?

    • My guess is that she got into lots of trouble. Based on other diary entries, I don’t think her mother would have had very much patience with this sort of thing.

  10. Times like this make me appreciate cell phones! On the other hand, I’ll bet your grandma loved creating a mystery.

    • When I was a teen I sometimes felt like my parents didn’t need detailed information about what I was doing when I wasn’t at home It’s interesting how teens and adult children today tell their parents almost everything.

  11. Storms this time of year can be pretty bad…so I can see why her mom was concerned. Even with cell phones I worry when my kids are out in the bad weather. LOL With as much reading as grandmother Helena did it would not have surprised me if she did read the Wizard of Oz…one of my favorite movies.

  12. Do you think grandma quite enjoyed her mother wondering where she was Sheryl? I’m thinking it may have amused her! :)

    • hmm. . . I never thought about that. My gut feeling is that it might have amused her at first. But if her mother got really mad– then she might have been less amused.

  13. “Sweet summer”…ha! From her recent entries, it doesn’t sound like she actually cared much for summertime.

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