I had yet another of those blasted “So where were we moments? the other day, where more time has passed than I thought and the lives of friends and relatives have advanced significantly without me realizing.   

I am pissed at myself;  I wrote that post last July and now I find that time has escaped me again.  How has it been so long since we last spoke?   Why is this such a big blind spot for me?  I thought that when I blogged about personal weaknesses they automatically fixed themselves!  Someone has clearly misrepresented the power of blogging.

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News of my family has led to a few 4am wake up sessions and long stream of consciousness dialogs with Thames-river style turns through various topics. Each idea ultimately a tributary to thoughts around the concept of home.

Home: What is it?

 Obligatory on-line Dictionary check Please:

HOME: n.

  • A place where one lives; a residence.
  • The physical structure within which one lives, such as a house or apartment.
  • A dwelling place together with the family or social unit that occupies it; a household.
  • An environment offering security and happiness.
  • A valued place regarded as a refuge or place of origin.
  • The place, such as a country or town, where one was born or has lived for a long period.
  • The native habitat, as of a plant or animal.
  • The place where something is discovered, founded, developed, or promoted; a source.
  • A headquarters; a home base.
  • An institution where people are cared for: a home for the elderly.
  • Computer Science a. The starting position of the cursor on a text-based computer display, usually in the upper left corner of the screen. b. A starting position within a computer application, such as the beginning of a line, file, or screen or the top of a chart or list.

When I travel, it’s not unusual to be asked where I live.  The answer to that question is easy: Southern California. 

When the question is phrased as “where’s home?” or “where are you from?”, then it gets difficult for me.  Less than a second passes,  yet I have this long drawn out silence inside my head as it seems to takes hours to negotiate my way the accurate response. The answer to those questions is that I am blessed to live with my wife and daughter in our home in Southern California and I was born on Long Island, New York and that’s home. 

This answer comes from the fact that no matter what is going on in my life, when I am in Long Beach, New York, I am at peace.

If I let that internal dialog go on I would acknowledge that London is also a valued place in my life, both as a child and more recently as an adult.  The value comes in childhood memories with my Nan, my aunts, uncles,  cousins and more recently with my long-lost sister and her beautiful family who I also love and adore (even that one who steals my tea).

I converged on a personal definition of  home as “That place which brings immediate relief or comfort due to the associated feelings, memories or people.” 

Funny thing about that definition is that when I start from it and build out a bullet list of places that meet the definition, I come up with some interesting places:

  • Anywhere with my wife and daughter
  • Long Beach, New York
  • My Nan’s flat in London
  • Anywhere with my long-lost sister and her family
  • The town of Whittier, California
  • Father Duffy Square in New York
  • Disembarking a plane at Heathrow’s Terminal 1
  • Long Island as seen from a plane moments before landing at JFK
  • The Marriott Hotel in San Jose
  • The United Terminal at San Francisco airport

I intend to drill down on these places in later posts, but for now, let me leave you with a Blake Shelton video that I often watch on my ipod when I am in airports or on airplanes:

So, Where’s Home?   What does it look like?  Who’s there?


2 thoughts on “Home

  1. Wow. I love that you’re a thinker. Sometimes it’s easiest to know where home is when you’re away. For me, anyway.

    I grew up on a farm with both sets of grandparents within a 6 mile drive. Home was never a question. It was land and people.

    It’s more complicated now. Sort of. We moved back to Canada when our twins were 13 months so they’d have a sense of home…but as much as I love Calgary (and I do), we have no extended family here.


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