Home, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Variations on a Theme

“Home”- where is it?  The question has been on my mind since selling the house where I lived for a couple of decades, the house I worked so hard to downsize.  Two trips to the Midwest over the holidays, and a recent post by blogger Mabel Kwong made me think even more about the concept of home.

little bitty Kansas City

I call this “little bitty Kansas City”

When I fly into Kansas City I like to get a seat on the right side of the plane, so I can see downtown. It doesn’t look like much from this altitude, but Kansas City was my home for a couple of decades too. I loved it, and only moved because I had to, to keep my job. Here are some variations on the road home to Kansas City.

Missouri river at Kansas City

Bridges over the Missouri River, a gloomy day just before Thanksgiving.

Here’s the “Big Muddy” — the Missouri River. Yes, Kansas City is in the state of Missouri. If you’re one of the people who asks me if I’m going to Kansas for the holidays, I forgive you.

Missouri River north of Kansas City

I love looking for patterns in the fields.

The river is not always so well behaved. The year we moved was a flood year. In one of those boxes I’ll find in my storage bin (someday, maybe) I have a trove of aerial photos of the river swollen in flood.

Snow after Christmas- Kansas City 2017

By Christmas, there were patterns in the snow.

Flying into Kansas City

Here’s a photo from back in October when it was still green…the first week of October is my favorite time to be in the country. The leaves are just starting to turn, the light is slanting, and the air is never clearer than on an October day.

I’m one of the few people left on the planet who’s still enthusiastic about looking down from an airplane, no matter where I’m going. The Midwest may still be one of the places that seems like home to me, but from the air, the whole Earth is home.

Where is home for you?

More on the Big Muddy

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Variations on a Theme


16 thoughts on “Home, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Variations on a Theme

  1. Beautiful images and writing! I love this Emerson quote “Go where he will, the wise man is at home, his hearth the earth, his hall the azure dome” Best wishes!

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  3. It is amazing how amazingly different the Midwest and Kansas looks from above over the seasons. So green, and then so white and wet. It’s quite a few trips you’ve made back and forth, and always lucky your request for the window seat. Thank you for the shout out. Very kind of you, Sandy. Funny how some places just never leave us even though we’ve moved elsewhere and built our lives in another different place. Could be the connections we have there or just how comfortable that place makes us feel.

    • You are so right, “Some places just never leave us” — there was a time when I thought about moving back, but realized too many of the people who made it home were no longer there. Even after so many years, I still dream about going back to my old apartment, and also to the house there. I guess that all our homes are always with us.

      • It is always sad when you realise you can’t go back to a certain place – because it would have moved on and never be the same again. The house you once lived probably is home to someone else now. Sometimes maybe I wonder if you drove by your old home, you’d feel the same way you did all those years ago 🙂

      • I haven’t driven by my Atlanta house, and I could, it’s not that far away. For years I drove by my Kansas City house every time I went through KC on the way to visit my brother. I haven’t gone lately. I really missed that house because in those years my parents and other friends I’ve since lost were still living. Home is sometimes as much the people as the place.

  4. Lovely photos. Aerial photos are fascinating and give you a totally different perspective of a place. I love books devoted to photos taken from the air. I have some of Rome, Venice, Florence, England, Scotland and Ireland, as well as one with locations all over the globe seen from above. But none specifically of Australia or Melbourne. I have not been up in a plane for a while to experience my city from the air. For this I have to look at drone videos which have fantastic aerial views. I suppose seeing a city from a plane is associated with the excitement of travel and homecoming which is special.

    • I’m a sucker for a window seat, always look for the left side when going into NYC (for the view of the Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan) and have years’ worth of Manhattan-from-the-air photos, back to film days. So, I would love your books of aerial photos. I haven’t seen many drone shots, but do remember finding some youtube videos of drone trips through cities I was planning trips to. I’d forgotten about those, so thanks for the reminder.

  5. Oh, I’m one of those few also! I must have a window seat, and I gaze out of it and snap away like it’s my first flight every time. I think a lot about home, especially because my new one doesn’t quite feel like the real thing yet. But I’m happy here, and as soon as I leave, this place will join all the other homes in my list of loved places, I suppose!

    • Last flight back to Atlanta I felt a little guilty because after I got up to leave the plane, a girl who’d been sitting in the aisle seat quickly moved over to the window (she was continuing on) and the middle seat person told me “It’s her first flight” — I would have given her the window if I’d known! (Must pay more attention in future) How long have you been in your new home now? I haven’t moved often, but seems I remember it can take months to feel like home.

      • 26 years is time to get really settled in. I was in my Georgia house for 22 years, but in the house I still dream about only for 5. I was just looking back at my dream journals and am still amazed at how often I’ve dreamed about the Kansas City house and the apartment I had there before that. In many ways its easier to stay long in one place, but moving is certainly good for clearing out. (good things and bad about that of course, so often now I need something and think “I had that” and remember where it was, but of course now I’ve donated it or hid it in storage)

  6. I also enjoy looking down from airplanes and prefer the window seat. But, I prefer being in the clouds. My imagination runs wild.

    • I remember the first time I flew, and saw the clouds from above. I was so amazed at the wonderful bright world that existed above the gray cold day beneath — and now I have years’ worth of cloud pictures too!

  7. Pingback: Variation of a Theme – WordPress Photo Challenge – RyanPhotography

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