Enter...the Wicked Witch of the West

I would like to share with you that a certain deceased member of my family, closely resembled a character from the movie The Wizard of Oz….

The Wicked Witch of the West.

Brilliantly portrayed by one of my least favorite grandmothers.

(this woman was scary)

She was a short, little, freakish creature, who‘s occupation was to fly around on a broom and make everyone‘s life miserable.

Every year when The Wizard of Oz would come on television, all us kids would gather around and frightfully anticipate the arrival of the wicked witch of the west, as she exploded on the screen in a puff of red smoke.

(which is how my grandmother always made her entrances)

And I would sit there in terror and think…”OH MY GOD…IT’S NANNY!!!”

(that’s what we called her…Nanny…isn’t that sweet?)

I can’t tell you how many times I thought of throwing a bucket of water on her, just to see if she would melt.

(“Oh…what a world….what a world”)

My grandmother had a face that always looked like she was extremely constipated, and at the same time experiencing severe hemorrhoids.

(honest)

Visiting her on weekends, was about as much fun as having my shins kicked.

Her house was like a museum. Everything was in perfect order and covered in plastic. During the summer months I dreaded having to sit on her couch because the backs of my legs would sweat and get stuck to the cushions.

Her house always smelled of camphor because she had this hideous tradition of placing a box of moth balls in the vacuum cleaner bag, so that when she vacuumed…the air would permeate with the delightful odor.

WTF???

I remember a crystal candy dish that always sat on the coffee table, which she filled with either stale spearmint jelly leaves or orange slices. We were only permitted to have ONE for the entire duration of our visit. And she closely watched us too. God forbid if we tried to reach in and take another piece….

ZAP!

It was like she had the dish rigged up to an electrical shock system that would zap us on the fingers with her NASTY words…

“RONNIE…I SAID JUST ONE!!”

(“Yes, Nanny dearest”)

And I was always afraid of touching anything, in fear that I would break it and be sent to the basement where she kept her flying monkeys.

To me, her guest bathroom was such a scary-ass place. There was a little plastic doll standing on the toilet tank, which my grandmother had crocheted a dress for. The legs of the doll went inside the toilet roll and the dress slipped perfectly over the roll. She always changed the dresses according to the seasons. The Christmas dress had holly leaves, not only on the dress, but also on the dolls hair.

(talk about OVER-KILL)

And it was creepy…because it always looked like the doll was staring at me while I was peeing.

I was almost sure that the doll was one of the neighborhood children that my grandmother had kidnapped and shrunk.

And just like the wicked witch of the west, my grandmother never seemed happy. It was as if she lived her life, greedily trying to get something that she always thought she deserved and never got.

(and also lived in fear that a house would someday drop on her)

She did have her good points though….

Wait…I’m trying to think….

Umm...

Oh, yea…she could cook.

Anyway…I think it’s very appropriate that she reminded me of a character from The Wizard of Oz because of the films’ wisest and most enlightening lesson...

“Happiness is always in your own backyard.”

And sometimes I still catch myself looking up at the sky….


28 comments

  1. Did Nanny live in Brooklyn!? I walked 2 giant poodles for a lady who you just described perfectly. When I brought the dogs back she'd inspect their paws and butts to make sure I had cleaned them! I always felt sad for her though, when I got to 13 anyway - before that she just scared the crap out of me!

    Thanks for stopping by my place. I'm so glad you did cause I love your writing. Your Father's Day post was wonderful and the post about the heat was like reading my own mind. As far as I'm concerned 70 is a heat wave, 97 is just wrong!

    Happy Monday kiddo.

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  2. I can't believe this I am one of the first to comment on this post! For some reason I came here this morning before starting anything else. I am sooooo glad I did. I loved this and I am still laughing!

    You know The Wizard of Oz is on my list of favorite movies anyway!!

    I had a Grandmother similar to yours one..she made us take naps there. I had a difficult time with naps..especially when I thought she was going to do something to us! Years ago when I was very little we were there and she was watching a program (on the black and white), and they interrupted to talk about "sleeping sickness." Remember that from mosquito bites? Well, my child's mind only heard "sleeping sickness and DEATH" Right after that she told us it was nap time!!! :O I just knew that report was about us and confirmed what I already thought...she hated children and wanted to do us in!! I pretended to sleep...but I NEVER let myself go to sleep in her spooky house after that!

    Fast forward. I think I told you I had a reading a few weeks ago. She told me I had two Grandfathers around me and one Grandmother. The way she described her it is HER!!! So of course, now I am afraid to sleep again!! Hee, hee.

    Oh how I love your vents!! You are good medicine my dear friend!!

    Have a wonderful day and week!

    Love ya!

    Ps I need to keep reading the Oz quote on my blog (one of my most favorites)...so I can remind myself
    I do have the power
    I do have the power
    I do have the power
    And she doesn't!! :)

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  3. OMG! Ron, this is the perfect post for a Monday. I laughed like crazy!

    Those flying monkeys still scare the shit out of me. I'm glad Nanny kept 'em locked up in the basement.

    Have a great day, you funny man!

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  4. Ah, such fond memories of a dear one now gone. We all have these characters in our lives and they really would scare the Sh-- out of us. It seemed that only reason they were here in this world was to show us what fear was all about. I know (now) that somewhere inside there was something that was a good trait and yet, like you, it took many hours of ponder to figure out what the good was. Perhaps that is why we will not let our lives go on the journey towards the wicked West. So Dorthy move on over and follow us on the yellow brick road.

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  5. Say with an ear piercing shreik..."EEE HEE HEE HEE HEE HEE, I'll get you my pretty...and your little dog too!"

    So in case anybody's wondering, you have been to hell. She sounds like someone the Brothers Grimm would have written a tale about.

    Yikes!

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  6. Welcome Dianne!

    Hey...thanks for stopping by!

    HAHAHAHA!!! You're right...the Poodle lady in Brooklyn sounded A LOT like NANNY!

    (and Joan Crawford)

    OH NO...maybe she was her sister...the Wicked Witch of the East?!?!

    And you're right...later in life, I felt sad for my grandmother too!

    Stop by anytime, Dianne...it's nice to meet a fellow north-east neighbor and also someone who hates the freaking HEAT as much as I do!

    (and can you believe I once lived in Florida??)

    Happy Monday!

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  7. Good Morning Dearest Gypsy-Heart!

    OMG...your comment about your grandmother and the sleeping sickness had me spitting my coffee all over the computer screen!!!!

    How FREAKING funny was that????

    And YES....I do remember the thing about mosquito bites and sleeping sickness!

    It's funny you should mention naps, because my grandmother always made us take long naps when we stayed over for the day. I think it was only because she wanted to watch her freaking soap opera's in peace.

    (remember THE EDGE OF NIGHT?)

    eeewwww!

    Hey...that's interesting about your reading and finding out about your grandmother. I'm sure she's MUCH nicer now!

    (and she's probably flying around on a broom with Nanny)

    Thanks for dropping in Gypsy-Heart!

    Enjoy your day and week too!

    Love ya!

    P.S. You DO have the power!!

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  8. Morning Miss Nitebyrd~

    DIDN'T THE FLYING MONKEYS FREAK YOU OUT???

    God...they were the scariest things I've ever seen!!

    I read a book once (autobio) on Margaret Hamilton (the wicked witch) and she was SO the opposite of the character. She seemed really sweet and quiet.

    (maybe the witch was her alter ego!?!?)

    Anyway...she was EXCELLENT in part!

    Great seeing ya, dear lady... thanks for stopping by.

    I hope you have a fabulous Monday!!!

    And watch out for those MONKEYS. I think I saw on the news, they're headed for Florida!

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  9. Morning Mr. Dave~

    Really enjoyed your words here, my friend!

    SOOOOOOO true!

    Like I shared with Dianne, as I got older, I saw WHY she was the way she was.

    The Wizard of Oz has so many incredible messages within the tale. As a kid, I saw only the visual aspect, but as I got older the messages became clearer.

    Awesome film!

    "Follow the yellow brick road...follow the yellow brick road..."

    Thanks for stopping by today, Dave!

    Have an Happy Monday Buddy!

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  10. OMG Jeff....that's too weird!!

    I could actually HEAR that shriek!!!

    You sounded JUST like her!!!!

    tee, hee...

    Quick, Ron...click your heels...click your heels!!

    Great seeing ya, buddy!

    Have an awesome Monday!!!

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  11. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA... Wait a minute... do you mean your Real Life Nanna actually played the role of the witch in Wizard of Oz? Or do you just mean that the witch reminded you of her?

    (Forgive me, it's 2:27am here, so I'm not thinking cear)

    But LMAO!!!! Either way.... this post is GOLD Ronnie!!!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA xx

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  12. Our families can cause such deep emotional damage... My empathy, Ron.

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  13. Yes Annie, they can.

    But it's always healthy to look at the humor in them!

    Thanks for stopping by, Annie!

    GREAT seeing ya!

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  14. Morning Giggle!

    Hey...you sound like me. I was up til 2AM this morning!!

    (tweaking my template)

    Yes...the character of the Wicked Witch REMINDED me of my grandmother!

    However...I honestly think she could have PLAYED her!!!

    Tee, hee!

    Thanks so much for droppin' in Giggle!

    Sleep tight, dear one!

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  15. Always love a laugh to start off the week. And you've certainly delivered! Shame that had to be a real life relative.
    Can't say anyone in my family was like that. We had a few characters, but most were pretty nice if memory serves.
    Oh but maybe my kids will say that I am the Wicked Witch of the family some day?!? I know the heat made me pretty cranky lately.

    Have a great week!!

    p.s. where do you get your essential oils from? I am low on a few of them and had a place bookmarked and now can't find it. Last time I bought oils locally was at Whole Foods, but with everything going up plus gas to get there, I was thinking maybe there's some better places online.

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  16. Afternoon Crystal Chick~

    tee- hee!

    Yes...my grandmama was a regular character, she was!

    I think she actually had her own BROOM company...

    "BROOMS TO GO"

    Ha!

    I come from a very animated family.

    SO Italian!

    Hey, YES....if you go to my other blog, you'll find a WONDERFUL essential oil company that I highly recommend. The link is on the sidebar - HandsOn Aromatherapy.
    They supply good quality, and not overly priced. They're out of Georgia. She's got a nice website!

    Let me know how you enjoy it!

    Thanks for stopping by, M!

    Have a great week too!!!

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  17. What a shame you have such horrid memories of your nanny. :( It would break my heart if I thought for one minute any of my grandchildren thought things like that about me. Of course they wouldn't though because I'm a lovely Nanna! :)

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  18. Afternoon Akelamalu!

    I know...I'm surprised I didn't grow up crazy or insane...

    Well...wait a minute...

    However, I'm SURE your grandchildren ADORE and LOVE you!

    Cause I bet you're wonderful Nanna!

    Thanks for stopping by, dear lady!

    Enjoy your evening!!!

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  19. Yikes, Ron, scary!! I would freak out if I had a relative like that as a child. SCARY.

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  20. ron...hehehehahaha. My god i wishd I had read this earlier. I could have used the laughs...But then they would have hauled me off in some looney-bin wagon, tjinking i was.um, looney.

    Really I was laughing though the whole post. Man...I wish I could have met her. I love old ladies with attitudes. ZAP! Okay, maybe that would be only one visit to meet your nanny. hehehe.
    fabulous post honey...moth balls...hehehehahahehehe. Sorry, I'm just barely able to finish my comment. ha...heheheheh...ha!

    fuck ron...I'm so glad you wrote this...hahaha. :D :D :D

    hehehe.

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  21. Howdy Rhea~

    YIKES!!! She WAS scary!!

    Especially when she would take out that broom and write messages in the sky!

    tee, hee!

    "I'll get you my pretty...and that little dog too!"

    Thanks for stopping by, Rhea!

    Great seeing ya!

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  22. Evening Miss Jones!

    Oh god...I wish I had known you when I was a kid...because I have a wonderful feeling that you and I could have tormented her to no end!!

    I swear...to this day, whenever I smell moth balls...I think of her!!

    (isn't that a lovely memory?)

    Little did I know that MANY years later, she would be the topic of my blog!!!

    So thank you....Nanny Dearest!

    ALWAYS grand seeing you, Spiky!

    Thanks for your visit!

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  23. She will haunt you forever=)Guess next time I watch Wizard of Oz, I'll think of your granny.

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  24. Hiya Doodles!

    HEHEHEHEEHEHHE!

    Yes...I'm still expecting to see her flying around in the sky writing....

    SURRENDER RONNIE!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, Doodles!

    P.S. And watch out for those flying monkey's!!!

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  25. Oddly enough "If I Only Had A Brain" has been playing over and over and over again.

    I'm sure that's for no reason whatsoever...LOL
    NO indication of anything, of course.....

    And just so you know--I had my turn at plastic covered furniture..and plastic runners on the carpet.....and doileys on anything......

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  26. Afternoon Mel!

    Hey..."If I Only Had a Brain" is my own personal theme song!!!!

    God...I can be SOOO absent-minded at times!!

    jeees!

    oooh...oooh...and thank you for mentioning the doileys...cause this grandmother had them thrown over every chair in the house! She even had them in the BATHROOM!

    (I told you that place was scary)

    Weeeee're...off to see the Wizard...the wonderful wizard of Oz!

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  27. OMFG!!!
    It so sounds like you're talking about MY nan! (my dad's mum who passed on... a few weeks ago, I suppose it was)
    Though the lollies weren't left out. No plastic on furniture. But I swear the cupboard she had in the bedroom was where she hid bodies of people she didn't like! I think there was a dead animal in it.. (fur coat)..
    But my pop (her husband, the poor man), who wanted me to be an accountant would give me a basket of coins to count, nan would eye me off suspiciously and tell me not to steal any. Mind you, cousins (whom the old bat doted on) would grab handfuls and walk out with it! She didn't mind them doing that!

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  28. Hey...Trublmaka...your nan and my nan were DEFINATELY twin Wicked Witch Sisters!!!

    Damn...that's SO funny about the hidding the bodies and counting the COINS!!!

    See...that's exactly how my nan would have been!

    It'll tell you...she was a BEAST!

    Thanks SOOOO much for sharing your nan story, my friend...

    God...it made me laugh my TUSH off!

    Enjoy your evening!

    And watch out for the flying monkey's!

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