Sunday, October 04, 2009

Where I’m from

I’ve done this exercise several times, but I never get tired of it. It always gives me a good feeling and gets me in touch with my roots. I wish everybody would try doing this. The template can be found HERE, and I guarantee it will turn you into a poet. I dare you to do this! If you Google "Where I'm From", it will take you to many beautiful essays that will take you back in time.

WHERE I'M FROM

I am from cast iron skillets; from Stanley Home products and Church three times a week, (and every single night for two weeks straight, if there was a Gospel meeting).

I am from old two-story houses with a switchboard in the living room and the smell of coffee in the kitchen every morning. I’m from an outhouse out back and a pump right outside the kitchen door that had to be primed before you could get water from it. I’m from getting a drink from a dipper in the bucket in the kitchen, the same dipper everyone drank from.

I am from the Top-crop green beans and the wild strawberries growing in a ditch along the road in North Missouri; from the blackberries and black walnuts and morel mushrooms that just grew all by themselves and were there for the picking.

I am from two family reunions every summer and knowing we always pay our bills. From Clara and Everett and Stevens and Allen. I am from the teetotalers and farmers .

From “always wear clean underwear in case we’re in a wreck” and “don’t cross your eyes or they’ll freeze like that.”

I am from Church-of-Christ and a cappella music. I'm from Iowa and Missouri and Pennsylvania; from noodles and fried chicken.

From the time Grandpa Allen hit a horse so hard with his fist that the horse fell to its knees; from the day in December of 1932 that my mom and dad waded through the mud to get married. I’m from babies born to Aunt Ruby and Grandma Stevens that died of pneumonia in their first few days of life. I am from my dad’s mother and his first wife who both died in childbirth.

I am from pictures and diaries my mom kept in an old lard can hoping someone would eventually care about them, and now I do; from a music box I played with as a child at Grandma’s house that I have in my possession, and hope to pass it on to the proper person when I’m gone. I’m from cousins who dig into the past to find out where my ancestors come from and then share that information with me.

Because friends come and go, but nobody knows my past like my cousins.

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