One couple, no set, about 10 minutes.
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HOME IS WHERE GOD IS
Written by Warren Sager
George and Elizabeth are two seniors (60’s or 70’s) who have sold their home and are moving into something smaller. The house is empty, and they are taking one last look before they leave for the last time.
GEORGE: Well, this is it.
ELIZABETH: Seems a lot different with all the furniture gone. Hardly even looks like our home.
GEORGE: I guess it isn’t our home anymore.
ELIZABETH: We have a lot of memories here. 30 years is a long time to be in one house. It is hard to say good-bye.
GEORGE: You have to think about the new place we will have, and how much we will enjoy it.
ELIZABETH: It won’t be the same. The children grew up in this house. I can see all the good times, and the Christmases with the big tree over there. Remember the time that you and the boys went to the woods and cut down that tree yourselves?
GEORGE: Oh, what a fiasco that turned out to be!
ELIZABETH: It was so big you could not get it through the front door.
GEORGE: At first we could barely get it on the back of that truck we borrowed. I think it was Robbie who really wanted that particular tree. I had my doubts about it from the very start.
ELIZABETH: And then you forgot to measure it.
GEORGE: Oh, we measured it, but we didn’t do it right. Then you kept yelling at us as we were trying to get it through the door.
ELIZABETH: I don’t remember that. But I do remember when you finally got it in and stood it up that the top bent at the ceiling. And there were pine needles everywhere!
GEORGE: Getting that top cut off was no small feat either.
ELIZABETH: I don’t know why that particular Christmas stands out in my mind so much. I do remember that I was so worried that the tree would catch on fire and burn our house down.
GEORGE: The truth is that the trees we buy from lots every year are probably much dryer than that one was. It was the freshest tree we ever had.
ELIZABETH: Was that the year we got all the kids new bikes?
GEORGE: Oh no! They were a lot younger then. The boys were older when we went to the woods for the big tree.
ELIZABETH: Remember the year we invited the homeless man in for Christmas dinner?
GEORGE: I think some of the kids thought we were crazy.
ELIZABETH: And some of the neighbors, too. But it was the right thing to do.
GEORGE: It was good for the kids to see us do something like that.
ELIZABETH: Lizzie warmed up to him the most. And she kept witnessing to him and telling him how he needed Jesus!
GEORGE: Didn’t he say he was a believer?
ELIZABETH: Well, that’s what he said. Whether he was or not… only God knows. But he sure heard the message that day!
GEORGE: I wonder what ever became of him. I guess we never saw him again after that.
ELIZABETH: No, I think Robbie said he saw him a few years later… or some time after that. He came home and said, “Mom! I saw our homeless man!”
GEORGE: I don’t remember that. Did he talk to him?
ELIZABETH: Oh, I don’t think so. No, wait a minute. He did. He went up to him and said, “Hi, remember me?” and the guy looked at him like he was crazy.
GEORGE: Wow, that’s pretty funny. I didn’t remember that.
ELIZABETH: Oh, George… did the movers forget something? There is a crate over there!
GEORGE: No, I think that is an extra.
ELIZABETH: I better go check. (She walks across the stage to the empty crate and looks at it) It’s empty. Will this hold me? (She stands it on one end and then sits on it) There. I can sit for bit while I reminisce.
GEORGE: We should be going, Dear. No reason to drag this out.
ELIZABETH: Oh, what’s the hurry? Let’s just sit here a while.
GEORGE: You’re the only one with a seat…unless you can make room on that thing for me.
ELIZABETH: Here… I can make room… set yourself down here. (He sits on edge with his back to hers; both of them turn to face audience for saying their lines.) Are we doing the right thing by leaving this house?
GEORGE: Well, it’s a little late now for that! I’m not bringing all that stuff back in here!
ELIZABETH: Oh, I know. Just having some doubts, that’s all. Tell me again all the reasons why we needed to do this.
GEORGE: You gotta be kidding?
ELIZABETH: Humor me, George. I just need a little reassuring.
GEORGE: Okay… let’s see… finances…that was number one. The house is too big. It is too much upkeep, and you can’t clean it all anymore…
ELIZABETH: Not like that, George. Tell me everything. You know, explain it all to me again.
GEORGE: So you really need to go over all that again, huh? Well, okay. It all started when you got sick last year and were not able to do anything around here. Lisa came by and cleaned a couple of times, but she has her own house and family to take care of.
ELIZABETH: And we talked about getting a housekeeper, but it seemed like it was going to cost way too much.
GEORGE: We also discovered that the kids’ bedrooms were never being used. Most of them live close by, so no one was ever spending the night.
ELIZABETH: And we stopped having Thanksgiving and Christmas here because Lizzie’s place is much better for that…so much more room over there. She is such a social butterfly… it seems like the family just migrates over there all the time.
GEORGE: The bills were still high because of heating and cooling this big place. And most of the time it was only the two of us here.
ELIZABETH: Before you retired, it was only me. I was all alone here most of the time. I kept thinking that the grandkids would be coming over, but I ended up going to see them instead.
GEORGE: So, you were driving all over and we were spending a lot on gas, too. I think it was one of the boys who finally suggested that we move.
ELIZABETH: Yes, it was Reggie. He was always the smart one for money matters. He began to tell us that we needed a smaller place that was more centrally located to all of them.
GEORGE: So the hunt began for a new house for us. So, now you have all the reasons why we are moving. Do you still need reassuring?
ELIZABETH: Don’t tease me now….I won’t have it.
GEORGE: Who’s teasing? I’m totally serious. The bottom line is: We will be closer to all the kids, and our utility bills will be much smaller.
ELIZABETH: And we still have a guest bedroom in case Rick comes home for a while.
GEORGE: Do you think he will ever get married and settle down?
ELIZABETH: He’s still young. And he is such a free spirit.
GEORGE: Oh is that what he is?
ELIZABETH: Rick is very talented. I’m sure that when he is done doing mission work, he will find himself a very good job. I am very proud of all my children!
GEORGE: They all turned out well, didn’t they?
ELIZABETH: And now that we have gone over all the reasons why we are leaving this place…
GEORGE: Are you ready to go now?
ELIZABETH: Just about. (She gets up and walks around again.) You know, we never did remodel in here like we always wanted to.
GEORGE: I’m sort of glad we didn’t now.
ELIZABETH: We always wanted a bigger opening going into the kitchen and the back of the house.
GEORGE: (Standing) I was going to put brick around there and make it Spanish style. And I was going to redo all the kitchen cabinets.
ELIZABETH: I asked for that every Christmas. All I wanted for Christmas every year was new kitchen cabinets.
GEORGE: That must be why Reggie kept pointing out the nice cabinets at the new house. It’s nice to have them already done.
ELIZABETH: It has a smaller kitchen, but I don’t need a big kitchen anymore.
ELIZABETH: I am going to miss my kitchen, though. Remember when you redid the countertop? That old countertop was so hideous!
GEORGE: I think we got the price down on the house because the countertop was so ugly.
ELIZABETH: I don’t remember that.
GEORGE: (Points toward the kitchen) And Robbie helped me put that floor tile down. Boy…that was a job!
ELIZABETH: (Looking around) I always thought that staircase needed to be different. I could never figure out what it was that I didn’t like about it.
GEORGE: I think you just wanted it to be safer. After Lisa fell down the stairs and broke her arm, you hated those stairs from that moment on.
ELIZABETH: She still claims that Ricky pushed her, and he still denies it. I never could figure out who was telling the truth in that. I used to think that Ricky was guilty, but now I’m not so sure. Rick adores Lisa. He is closer to her than any of the others.
GEORGE: Which is why I think he did do it.
ELIZABETH: Oh, that’s interesting. (Pause) It sure is quiet.
GEORGE: It’s been quiet for some time now. When the grandkids are here, then it starts to sound like the old days. The way it used to be.
ELIZABETH: As much as I know we are doing the right thing…. I still feel that it will never be the same. We are leaving so much behind…all those memories.
GEORGE: Liz, we are not leaving the memories behind. They aren’t in this house, they are in our head. We will always have the memories…unless we get Alzheimer’s.
ELIZABETH: We still have a lot of the same furniture. But I guess that gets old, too, and you replace it. Nothing can really stay the same, can it?
GEORGE: The one thing that remains constant is the fact that we have a home…and God is in our home with us. No matter where He takes us, He is with us and we have a home. This is just a shell…four walls and a roof. Our new place looks like this, too. We will put it all together and it will be a home. We will live there, and our children will come and visit us there, and God will make it just as much a home as this place was. It is not the building that makes the home. It is the people in it. You and me and Jesus.
ELIZABETH: When did you get to be so smart?
GEORGE: Oh, I’ve always been smart!
ELIZABETH: Oh you have? What makes you think so?
GEORGE: I married you, didn’t I? Smartest thing I ever did.
ELIZABETH: Well, that’s probably true. Now you are really making points with me. I don’t know if you are the sweetest and most romantic man, or if you are just being smart again.
GEORGE: What do you mean by that?
ELIZABETH: You always know what to do say to get on my good side!
GEORGE: Your good side? You don’t have any other side!
ELIZABETH: See? Now that is just silly. I won’t fall for it. Well… let’s go, Sweetie. It’s time to leave this shell and move on to the next one.
GEORGE: So, you’ve had enough, have you?
ELIZABETH: Well, now that you have put everything into perspective, what is the use of standing here staring at these empty walls and empty rooms? Like you said, it is just a shell. I guess it is like our bodies. That is only a shell, too. We live in them for whatever amount of time God decides, and it is nothing more than a shell. But when we invite Christ in, He comes and makes His home in our hearts, and we have life. That life continues on even when the shell is old and empty. Home is where God is.
GEORGE: Wow. That analogy was even better than mine! (He opens the door for her to walk out) Of course, you always were smarter than me….
ELIZABETH: (As they exit) You must be buttering me up for something.
Copyright 2004 Warren Sager