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Bauer: Home is where your heart is

A few weeks ago, I made my nearly annual train trip to Upstate New York for Christmas.

My destination was Utica, where my sister, nephew and niece live. My hometown of Rome is about 12 miles from there, and I also have relatives north of that city as well as Syracuse and suburban Rochester.

For many years, I have wrestled with where “home” really is, especially around the Thankgiving-Christmas-New Year’s holidays.

Is it here in Clark County, where I grew up and have lived since 1966?

Is it back in New York, where I was born and have returned at least once each year since then?

John Howard Payne wrote, “mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam, be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.” Judy Garland reminded us of that in “The Wizard of Oz.”

Christmas songs tell us “there’s no place like home for the holidays” and “I’ll be home for Christmas.”

But where is “home?”

In our modern society, many people leave the place where they are born, often leaving behind family and friends. We change jobs and houses far more frequently than in the past.

The concept of “home” has changed and and no doubt will continue to do so in the coming years.

During the big snowfall (over a foot) that fell on Utica while I was there, I thought about the many people in that part of the country who were going through the holidays without a house, after Superstorm Sandy. I guess for them, “home” was wherever they are making the best of a very bad situation.

Hopefully, I am getting a little wiser as the years go by. I have come to realize that the true meaning of “home” is not linked to a physical location, either a building or a town.

As another old expression goes, “Home is where the heart is.”

Here’s hoping you can be wherever your true home is in 2013.

Happy New Year!

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