What is a home?


I believe we have all heard a very common expression; “HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS” but is this really true?

HUNDREDS of millions of people all over the world, including the USA, have no place to call “HOME” except the last place where they ate and slept.

Many people stay in whatever kind of shelter they can find in WAR-TORN villages, towns, cities, or open land. The parents try their very best to protect their children, themselves, and whatever few possessions they may have.

Far too many need to travel on whatever type of animal or vehicle they have. Many must walk strictly on foot on dirt roads, unpaved and paved streets. Many people need to travel up and down hills and mountains to find a place they can call HOME.

Most of the residents here in Rowntree Gardens have lived through the worrisome years of the “GREAT DEPRESSION.”

Our family was fortunate to have lived in second floor flats. A few times we felt our HOME was in a two bedroom flat above my Dad’s barber shop.

One other time, we lived in a bare space with only the outside walls. This HOME was above an upholstery shop. Fortunately this HOME had an INSIDE stairway.

Another time, my Father moved us into the second story flat of a very old house. We had to climb up and down an OUTSIDE stairway, regardless whether it was raining, snowing, or just a beautiful sunny day.

Overall, we survived enough so my Dad was able to buy a thirty-five year old, three-bedroom house for $4,250. This house was our HOME for four years.

Our family gradually lived in newer, bigger, more comfortable HOMES. I assume most of us had similar, better or worse places we called HOME.

For a three month period on the Anzio Beachhead during World War 2, our radio communications sergeant and I shared a 5 1/2 foot dugout we dug, and covered it over with tree-saplings and the sandbags we filled with the dirt that came out of the hole we dug, despite all the times of the enemy’s bombing and shelling.

I could write about sixteen more pages about the HOMES I’ve lived in but the following poem describes my personal feelings about my current and most likely … my next-to-last HOME.

The title of the poem is…


I’m happy to be living in a lovely place called Rowntree Garden,
I wildly guess it’s probably almost as nice as the Garden of Eden.

We are completely surrounded with a beautiful, peaceful landscape
tall trees, colorful flowers, vines and bushes; None eager to escape.

This is a quiet place of personal peace, happiness, and contentment
mainly a home of joyful pleasure, harmony, and self-fulfillment.

Included are the clean, often vacuumed carpets in the long halls,
And to gaze at the neatly framed paintings on the painted walls.

Many hours of our time is participating in the numerous activities;
AND the celebrations of Birthdays, Anniversaries, Worship Services,

Also Exercise, Arts Workshop, Creative Writing Class, Computer workshop
Special Meetings, Bus Trips, Card Games, Movies, in-house Garden Shop

We enjoy our comfortable, spacious, indoor living spaces
And the beautiful, well-tended and managed outdoor places.

Meals are well-prepared by able chefs so they’re nutritious
Servings are fully-ample, very tasty and truly delicious.

We eat in the clean dining rooms and outdoor patios
Talk, tell jokes and visit with new and old amigos.

All members of the Staff are polite, respectful and helpful,
Their assistance is almost immediate and truly respectful.

We are blessed to have an open chapel, and a well-staffed medical clinic
In neither of which we would we want to have a whole, wild family picnic.

Bill Thomas © 2018

And to all the long-time residents of their HOME in Rowntree Gardens, we wish you all many, many more years of joy and happiness in this place we all call HOME.

Thank you also for paving the way to all the changes and improvements you have suggested and have been implemented that we now all enjoy.

Continue living pleasantly in Rowntree Gardens, our HOME.

This is where my Heart is.

This article was written by Bill Thomas.