What makes a hometown a hometown? For many people it is the community into which you are born and raised. Having been born into a parsonage family, I have found it difficult to answer the question of “What’s your hometown?”. While I was born in Texas, we moved away when I was a toddler. We lived in two communities in Indiana. Then we moved back to Kansas. The largest number of my childhood years was spent in Eureka, Kansas. Here is a song and photos to give you a feel for this community.
My family left Eureka while I was in college. And moved again after I was married. During my adult, married years we have lived in many places including Kissimmee, FL; Winter Park, FL; Kansas City, MO; and Ocoee, FL. We are starting our tenth year in Hays, Kansas. At this point, I have a feeling of history here, of connection to people, and of being at home. I know who to call when I need help and support. And, people call me for the same reasons.
As we are increasingly becoming a population that moves around, the question of what is your hometown becomes involved for more people. One of the songs I often share when working with older adults is “Dear Hearts and Gentle People”. I think the lyrics offer a partial answer to the question of where is my hometown.
I love those dear hearts and gentle people
Who live in my home town
Because those dear hearts and gentle people
Will never ever let you down …
I feel so welcome each time that I return
That my happy heart keeps laughin’ like a clown
I love the dear hearts and gentle people
Who live and love in my home town .
I hope you feel at home where you are…for now.