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Posted on: December 30, 2021

What Does Home Mean to You?

December contest 2021

Check out the 2021 Winners 

Art & Writing Contest

Theme: What does Home mean to you? 

1st Prize- Beth Ramsey 

2nd Prize - Tim Sidorfsky

3rd Prize (Tie) - Kendra Surface & Lonnie Flowers


1st Place – Beth Ramsey

HOME

by Beth Ramsey

“What does home mean to you?" For many, that is not a difficult question. However, for a gypsy- hearted, rebellious-by- nature seeker of truth, this is not the case. What DOES home mean to me? Hmmm ... shall I venture forth on the journey to an answer? What sort of gypsy-hearted, rebellious-by-nature seeker of truth would I be if I didn't?

Home has taken many shapes for me over the years, not few in number. The home I grew up in, shared with my parents and older sister. Then, on to K- State, it was 433 Ford Hall, where I met women who remain my friends 49 years later. Next? A loop of Highways 281, 156 and 1-70 between Hoisington and Manhattan, Kansas. I could produce an autobiography if I elaborated on the places I have lived, but that wouldn't answer the question. Now, in 2021 at age 67, the word "home” conjures up so much more than towns and street addresses.

At this point in my life, the physical representation of home is a 12-story brick tower in downtown Manhattan within which I lease a little hobbit-hole studio apartment. Again, I could write a book about my neighbors, their quirks and their irks and their story-filled lives, but that would still deviate from the question. So, I shake off the physical a bit and sink in a little deeper in the meaning of 'home' for me.

There is a word in Spanish, hogar, that embraces the atmosphere of home rather than the more literal casa. It creates a mental picture of a warm, cozy, safe haven. Which is exactly how my home makes me feel. I walk into my apartment and am greeted immediately by the smells of my essential oils, stacks of books everywhere, a hanging tapestry dividing the space with calming colors. I live alone, as I have for many years. And I like it like that.

I like my space and my space now is safe. It is enveloping and lets me be me. I think, maybe, that is what home means. It means me. Being centered into myself where I am able to find the strength and courage and compassion to continue to face not only the challenges and joys of today but also the changes which invariably come. I don't mean being self-centered in a selfish way. What I mean is being in an environment that keeps me content to the point of being able to stay focused on what is conducive to not only my own well-being but to the well-being of my family, friends and neighbors.

Home I carry in my heart. I carry my two grown children and my daughter-in-law there in my heart. I carry my 94-yr-old ornery mama, my warm, creative loving dad who passed 19 years ago as well as my older sister who is my exact opposite. A huge part of my heart belongs to my dear friend that died seven years ago who was there for me in difficulty when no one else was. It contains the faces of those who live near me that greet me when I step off the elevator. Within my heart is a warm fire of love and compassion for all humans and all animals. It's love, baby, love is what is home. I don't have a romantic love in my life and haven't for decades but there is overflowing love for me to share as best as I can with those dear to me.

 

So, home is my Heart. That is where I live. Yes, there is the answer I was seeking. Home is in my heart. El hogar se vive dentro del corazón. How's that for an answer? El hogar se vive dentro del corazón.

Peace to us all during this season of holidays. May we each and every one arrive at a time that brings to us that which defines "home" to us individually.

Peace. Joy. Love. What more could home embrace?


2nd Place – Tim Sidorfsky 

 

What Home Means To Me

by Tim Sidorfsky

 

A few years ago, I used to give a homeless man rides almost every day. We ate our supper together at local churches, which provided them for free. I would listen to his stories. Afterwards, I would give him a ride "home." His sleeping place was a building on the K-State campus. I would drop him off at the back door, by the loading dock. It was a big complex. He refused to tell me where within the building complex he slept. He was afraid I might let the information slip, and he would be found out. He would have his "home" invaded, and he would be thrust out into the cold.

 

He mentioned that he never got more than five hours of sleep. He woke just as exhausted as when he went to bed. It occurred to me that anyone would sleep poorly if they were constantly afraid of being discovered and ejected. This man's life was in torment, without a single minute of the peace and comfort that comes from being in one's own home. He had not a single moment of that true rest.

 

We're all told to be grateful for all our blessings. Even the poor among us usually have it much better than many. Intellectually, we know we should be filled with gratitude. But this is when it really hit me: how incredibly lucky I was. Even as poor as I was, my life was, and is, a rich tapestry of blessings.

 

Home is the most important place in the whole world. If you don't have a home, what do you have? You have nothing! Home is your refuge, your protection from the storms of life. Home is where you rest and restore yourself. Home is where you are surrounded by the comfort and warmth of loved ones. Home is where you can be yourself.

 

That's why it's so important to have a home that feels like home. A place that's stable, comfortable, and safe. Like the home that we have on Hudson Circle.

 

My wife and I have lived in ten different dwellings together. Not all of them have felt that much like home. Our house now certainly does. It is safe, nice looking, and decently maintained. We know that if there is an emergency in the middle of the night, that maintenance workers will come out and help us. We have had carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors go off in the middle of the night giving us considerable scares. We've had plumbing emergencies, where the water cannot be turned off. However, understanding maintenance workers were there to help us through it.

 

Even when the maintenance staff seem overworked, they're always warm and friendly with me. They are eager to help, and they're great people. We always share a laugh or two. I count them as friends. 

 

My wife and I have lived here for nine years: more than twice as long as any other place we've lived. In this home, we have grown and matured more than any other place. It has supported us in our journey towards greater accomplishment and self-empowerment.

 

We are both homebodies, both being underemployed. So it is especially important to us to have a home environment where we can feel at home. Where we can grow and become more of who we really are.

 

Home is community. Here on Hudson Circle, many of the children play together on the sidewalks. Different adults take turns watching them. We talk with our neighbors and feel connected to them.

 

Let none of us who have homes take them for granted. They are the base from which we live our lives. If you pull out the base, everything else comes tumbling down.


3rd Place (Tie)  Kendra Surface 

Hygge is a Danish & Norwegian word for a mood of coziness & comfortable conviviality which feelings of wellness & contentment. 

Also, it means to me; my own definition. Having your home filled with your own personality. Furniture & whatever represents who you are. Something brings you a lot of joy!!!