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Editor’s Query: Tell us about a time when you felt at home in an unexpected place

My father never went back to the Hungarian village where he was born in 1908. He rarely spoke of his birthplace, but when he did, it was with a wistful look in his eyes. He left his beloved home and parents to start a new life in a new country when he was 18.

In May, accompanied by two of my children, I did what Dad couldn’t do. Armed only with six old photographs, we went to visit his village, Turterebes, now part of Romania.

While resting on a churchyard wall, I was overcome with doubt — is this a wild goose chase? Then, two kind village ladies who spoke no English (I spoke only a smattering of Hungarian) recognized the people in one photograph!

Unbelievably, the wall on which I was sitting was across the lane from the home of my pictured cousins!

Tears of happiness were our welcome. My cousins knew who we were because of pictures of us they had in their home. Within minutes, a delicious meal of stuffed cabbage, freshly baked bread, Hungarian pastries and home-brewed alcohol appeared as if by magic.

In Turterebes, I visited the grave of my grandparents, the 500-year-old church where Dad was baptized and the house where he was born. I truly felt my cup runneth over.

We were home.

Barbara Ruhe,

Rehoboth Beach, Del.

NEW QUERY: Tell us about a time when you took advantage of a loophole.

The Washington Post is partnering with the Public Insight Network (PIN) to hear more of your 100 percent true stories taken from your own experience. Submit your answer to the query above online at­query. By sharing your story, you become part of PIN — a network of more than 130,000 people who contribute to high-quality journalism. Editors will choose an entry to run in the Magazine, but we will also share more of your stories online. You can also submit to The Washington Post Magazine, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Include your daytime phone number. Recount your story in 250 words or fewer.



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