On January 21st 2018, the news was official. The DeMuth family was picking up and moving AGAIN to an even weirder destination: Wisconsin. However, this time is a little different because I am not going with. With the news came worried texts from family, apologetic conversations with friends, stressful packing, and one or two utter breakdowns. During these breakdowns, I continually asked myself the hard questions:
How could this happen again?
What am I going to do without my parents?
Where am I going to stay?
Will I even have a home?
All of these questions pressed in my mind as I started packing my life into cardboard boxes yet again. Sensing a need for a break, I sat back on my heater and paged through scribbled words in my journal picturing the adventures. I filled the pages and read up on my winter visit to the Battle LakeFFA chapter. I remembered everything so clearly, from getting lost on a forgotten dirt road to arriving at a stranger’s doorstep. However, Sage did not remain a stranger for long. She opened her home to me, sharing dog kisses and her foreign language skills, along with plenty of laughs. The next morning, we drove to breakfast with the entire Battle Lake officer team. I sat and listened to the outrageous stories and watched as smiles appeared on every face, including my own.
It wasn’t until later that I realized this is what home really is. In the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, home is described as ‘a place of residence;’ however, I believe the definition is a little deeper. To me, home is more of a feeling. Home is what I felt during breakfast that day. Home is when we are in a situation where we feel like we belong, like we’re valued and are needed there, because the people there make us feel that way. Home does not have to be one specific place. Home can be inyour house, your barn, your locker room, your best friend’s car, or even your ag room. What matters is how the people around you make you feel at home.
As FFA members, we know this idea of home all too well, as well as what it feels like to not be at home. When you think about it, that’s why we try and create home for others, because we know the feeling. Next time you see a freshman, someone starting their first day at school, a shy competitor entering the show ring, or even someone having a rough day, try to create home for them. We can ask them about their interests and pair them into an FFA event that matches those, listen to their favorite crazy story from the show ring, or we can invite them for coffee with our friends after school. We may not be able to create a physical home for someone, but we can create the feeling.
Stationed by the flag,