I am from my father’s recliner where I fell asleep upon his lap, from Little House on the Prairie, and soft serve ice-cream cones handed to anxious hands through the walk up window at the Dairy Dump.
I am from a little white ranch with yellow shutters and a cement front stoop, from a family room warmed by a wood burning stove – don’t forget to open the flue – and from the consistent sound of a basketball bouncing on the battered driveway.
I am from Grand Lake and its channels and creeks, from the woods and gullies of Deepest Worth, from neighborhood campouts on summer nights and bike rides down the hill on Summit with my feet pumping so fast the pedals couldn’t hold them.
I am from side yard popcorn picnics on a blanket spread with love and from loud, hearty laughs that still ring in my ears. I am from Rita and Harold and Sarah Alyce.
I am from warm hugs heartily synched with rhythmic pats on the back and from a local culture with a deep appreciation of hard work.
I’m from “Never go to bed mad.” From “Family comes first,” and “I’m going to worky-derky to get some turkey.”
I am from Peace Be With You said with the shake of a hand; a warm, lasting sentiment among others set aside.
I am from Ohio and Ireland and Germany, from Thanksgiving noodles rolled out and cut to imperfect perfection, from homemade apple pie, and sauerkraut to bring in the New Year, but also from Willow Whoppers, Nutty Bars, and greasy carry-out pizza cut into squares.
I am from a boy raised among a dozen siblings who learned to work hard and eat fast, from a quiet woman who read every book in the library and could play a mean round of Pinochle. I am from a young widow with three small boys to raise on her own, from her strength and her grit, and from her husband whose genes I carry. I am from an appliance repair man who came home everyday at 5:30 with evidence of a day’s hard work under his fingernails and quite often with a made-up song upon his lips. I am from a young woman who wished to see the world but opened my eyes to it instead, from her hands weaving through my hair, from her lips upon my forehead.
I am from the drawer on Grandma’s back porch filled with stacks of saved greeting cards waiting for a young girl to carry to the middle of the rug and sort through while watching Guiding Light. I’m from the memory trunk that sits in my parents’ house, where my father rests his feet while watching March Madness, or from the trunk that now sits in my house carrying the treasures of the distant and not so distant past.
I will never forget Where I’m From. My appreciation flows deep for every piece of it, for it has led me to Where I Am – to him, to the three of them, to you.
I thank Galit Breen for sharing her “Where I’m From” piece that prompted me to write my own. You can read Galit’s words here and find the template (based on George Ella Lyon’s Where I’m From) to write your own here.