Leaving Oz

Why leave at all?

After all, as Dorothy said, “There is no place like home.” But that was only after she “left” home to save Toto from mean Mrs. Gulch. And along the way, she met some wonderful friends, had great adventures, learned a lesson or two, and discovered a little more about her self and the ones she loved.


We are all a wandering sort. If we were not we would still be hanging from trees in the highland plains of Africa. That is until someone got curious and wanted to see what is over the hill.

Not all of us like to wander though. On my mother’s side, I have French relatives who come from the village of Graffigny in eastern France. It was once part of the ancient territory of Lorraine and it see-sawed back and forth as to who and what country owned it. The curious thing, to me at least, is that I was recently contacted by a relative with my grandmother’s maiden name. That is not necessarily interesting as we are talking about only three generations since my grandmother left France with a young soldier, my grandfather, to come to America. The really curious thing, again to me, is that the family name can be traced back to the beginning of record keeping in the village of Graffigny. This was to 1596 (I am doing this from memory and need to check on the date) when Pierre Chevallier entered his name amont the baptized, married, and dead of the village. His progeny did so for the next 500 years.

That to me is remarkable.

Perhaps not when one considers that families back then were large, usually there was a son or two or three to go along with the daughters. And there was land involved, though not a considerable amount, enough to keep the oldest son at home.

The rest left to seek their fortunes elsewhere. To marry, to find friends, to experience adventures, to fight in wars, to learn a lesson or two.