About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
I am a native of Illinois and grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. After dropping out of college, I moved to California in 1973 with my first husband. I married my present husband, Butch, in 1977 and got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me a grandmother 25 times over and a great-grandmother of 19. Three years after I married Butch I returned to school. I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication and was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 to return to school and get my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore and genealogy - and add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play a number of folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega with Genealogy Journeys where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that can be found at http://genaandjean.blogspot.com and more about my own business projects is on my Circlemending website.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Singalong with Circlemending - Home Sweet Home

There's no place like home, right? On this 9th anniversary of the attacks on our "home" (9/11/01), we may feel even more connected to whatever represents home and security to us.

Having recently returned from a cross country trip, I recognize the comfort of having "home" to return to. Meanwhile, some of those reading this may have lost their homes - storms in the Central US, fires in the Rockies, and other disasters can take away that home and place of sanctuary in the blink of an eye. My heart goes out to them.

While we were traveling with our "home on wheels," we experienced a bit of homelessness when our vehicle broke down. This meant that our mobile comforts were temporarily lodged at a Chevrolet dealer in Nashville, while we had to find other accommodations. How wonderful that our dear friend Betty Joe Gentry opened her home to us to give us sanctuary until we could get our own "digs" back. The warmth of her bungalow in Tennessee was a perfect example of Southern Hospitality. We felt that comfort even while we were in our own distress, with various issues confronting us; home, no matter whose it is, can be balm to soothe the stressed soul.

Maybe when you hear the word "home" you think of the place where you grew up; perhaps you focus on the building or the group of family that makes up your current homeplace; or possibly you think in a broader sense: the city, state, or country that you call "home" or your ancestors considered their "home." Whatever the word "home" means to you, here is a chance for you to share a song that represents that concept.

The "rules": write a comment/post that includes a verse and/or chorus of the song, the entire lyrics, or just the title; or give us a link to an MP3, YouTube video, or lyrics of the song. But also state why the song is your choice for this week's Sunday Singalong.

My offering: "Who Will Watch the Home Place" by Kate Long. Many attribute the haunting lyrics to Laurie Lewis, whose recording is the best known, but Kate wrote these words that express the emptiness that is prompted when one has to sell the family home. There was a time when I was unable to sing it, having just cleaned out and sold the house I grew up in in Wilmette, Illinois;

but I have been able to reach beyond the emotional reaction and now enjoy sharing this song at various gatherings. It seems that, as we get older, the inevitability of having to experience this heartbreaking activity becomes more and more likely and many who listen to the lyrics nod and even shed some tears as they think of what is to come, or remember what they have, or a loved one has, gone through. Click on the title, above, to read the lyrics, or the house photo to hear Laurie Lewis's rendition of it.

Your turn.


  1. For me, the phrase "Home is where the heart is" really says it all. I have a 'home' in multiple places. My family is my home. Chicago is the home of my childhood. I have a home with my church family. My country is my home (no matter how distressed or full of controversy it may be) and I am proud of it. I have a home in the hearts of those friends that love me. Jean and Butch are an example of some of those friends and I thank God everyday for them and those others with whom I share a home. Finally, I have a home in which I reside that I create for myself.

    So home means many things to me, but I think that if I were to rank my homes in order I would put the home of love at the top. Don't we always most want to be with those we love? So I'm posting Michael Buble's song "Home" as my favorite song for this topic. It can be viewed at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTc8kvd_8hQ

    It's a beautiful song with a beautiful lyric.
    So Welcome Home everyone!


  2. My life has always sent my on a daydream course of heading home. A place where "we all know what we have lost and all that we have gained."

    It was not until I was married 14 years ago when the I actually understood the beautiful song "Going Home" with the haunting voice of Mary Fahl. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__iNZzHKOL8

    I am total agreement with Susan and I have a multiple places I call home, however, when I drive down my driveway I know I am finally home and my heart stops searching.

    Another beautiful song to share. A beautiful video to view.

    May everyone find their home, even if away from home, today.



  3. I enjoyed your post very much. We were in Spain visiting my husband's family last week. When the Interpol and FBI began issuing travel alerts because of the possibility of the Koran Burning on Sept 11th I became very nervous. All over Europe the headlines on newspapers featured this hated message, and it was on every TV in every Pub and hotel. We were told to get to the airport 4 hours ahead of time for the flight home to Boston. Fortunately, events worked out that such that we had nothing to be afraid of, but the travel alerts were still at a high level at the airports. We had to go through so much security, it alone was making me nervous. I was never so happy as when the plane finally touched down! I don't think I'll plan anymore international travel on Sept. 11th again!