Congratulations to our first place winner Emily Arend. Emily’s essay spoke to being yourself is what “Makes a House a Home”. Her words painted great pictures of her and her family being “just who they are” in the comfort of their home.
(Emily is pictured here with her mother and father, Jack and Brenda Arend.)
Here’s her wonderfully written essay:
“Home is where the heart is…” I imagine you have read plenty of essays that developed that theme to the point of being ridiculous. Let’s be real and take a break from those ooey-gooey, sappy, sugar-coated essays! Let’s skip the metaphors. Skip the philosophy. Let me write out what everyone knows makes a house a home, but nobody has the courage to submit in this contest.
Home is where you can be yourself. You can sit in your pajamas, eat ice-cream out of the container, and not worry about being judged! In my home, I have been known to sing at the top of my lungs and blow bubbles in my glass of milk. Just last week, my 19-year-old sister sat on the landing of our stairs, playing the incredibly horrible nose-flute she received in her Easter basket. She played song after unrecognizable song, making us all play a hopeless game of “Name that Tune”. This is just who she is; she can make a game out of anything, and she had the entire family on the floor laughing! I know for a fact that she would never have done this in any other house. Only at home.
Home is that one place where everything is familiar and you know the layout like the back of your hand. You can find each light switch in the pitch-black night with a single touch to the wall. I know exactly which stair step to skip when I am trying to quietly sneak up to my room, without waking my parents, after watching Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Home is where family happens. Fun family stuff. The stuff that makes for stories told over and over. For example, my siblings and I have an on-going game of “I will scare you when you least expect it” that never gets old! The best scare I ever pulled off was when I hid in my sister’s closet, and stayed there, quiet, for 15 minutes after she got into bed. I slowly crawled out, jumped on her bed, and yelled, “BAH!” You can imagine the scream that came from her mouth and the sheer terror I got to see in her face! It was awesome! Now, would I have done this in any other house? Of course not. I would only have done this in my home.
So if a home isn’t just “where the heart is”, and a home isn’t just more than the sum of it’s materials, then what is it? What really makes a house a home? Every home has different stories to tell, but I know that those stories are real. And “real” is what makes a house a home.