I grew up on the movie The Wizard of Oz… back in the days when it was on TV once a year, and we’d make a whole neighborhood affair of the viewing. It holds an especially dear place in my heart because the little Kansas town I grew up in designated itself as Dorothy’s official hometown (never specifically named in the books/movie). The Chamber of Commerce moved a real farmhouse and windmill into town, constructed an actual yellow brick road and called it an attraction to draw people to our rural locale. I was the first “Dorothy” to give tours (at age 15). Yes. I wore the dress, the ruby red slippers and met several original movie stars at the grand opening. My picture was on the Chamber’s promotional display for a cross-country tour. I also performed in the musical, both as an actor and in the orchestra pit. So the phrase, “There’s no place like home,” is embedded in my DNA.
“Home,” to me, is where my people are. For 18 years, we raised our kids in a waterfront home at Lake Lotawana, and honestly I always thought if we ever sold it, I’d move to Brookside or a downtown loft. But the year that actually happened (thanks to Frank Paszkiewicz selling it 3 days) and the opportunity to move arose, I just couldn’t. After driving around those places and admiring the unique real estate options, I realized I didn’t give a hoot about that. I was in love with the people I’d come to know in this community. Through this job, I’ve gotten to meet a lot of the incredible, deeply caring souls behind the scenes around here. And, oh, the Mayor’s Character Breakfast really makes me so proud to live here! (It’s a must-attend if you haven’t.) My church family had become my family. Our friends of nearly two decades… too treasured to leave.
So I found a 1970s California split nestled in a quiet, big-tree neighborhood near downtown with great new neighbors and friends. I am enjoying working with many local folks to fix it up, including Virgil at Hearth & Home; Donna and Angela at Summit Flooring & Turf; Amy at Cameron’s; Sherry at Razzberry Whimzy; Debbie at Budget Blinds; Jack at Harmon Flooring; Glenna at Knobs & Locks; all the nice folks at Sherwin Williams; Chris at Wildcat Construction for custom stairs, columns and crown molding; Jason who constructed a built-in bay window bench; Marty Fiser Painting & Remodeling for help with the tall exterior; John at Higher Power Heating & Cooling; and many friends who’ve come to help scrape, sand, paint… There really is no place like Lee’s Summit. No need to click our heels. Aren’t we lucky we’re already home.
Kendra Mathewson, Assistant Editor