Finding home, going home, being at home

Just before the Second World War, a young British woman married a German. The woman found her new father-in-law difficult to get along with, and so it was much to her surprise that she found him playing the song "Home, Sweet Home" on the piano. Thinking that this was rather out of character, she wryly commented "So you know that song, do you?"

He replied, "Everyone in the world knows it."

He went on to tell her that some years before, he had been on a business trip on a ship in the China Sea. It was New Year's Eve and there had been a party on board. He had been invited to play the piano, and he finished up by playing "Home, Sweet Home." The partygoers became silent and listened intently when he sang the words "... be it ever so humble, there's no place like home." Her father-in-law said that the audience, although sophisticated and cosmopolitan, was deeply touched.

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An angel at midnight
September 4, 1995

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