Saturday, January 29, 2011

Here's a rerun: Where I'm From


where I'm from

I am from a switchboard in the living room, from Maytag wringer washers and lye soap and bluing and starch.

I am from the rolling north Missouri hills sweet with the smell of budding, flowering branches in spring, and fields plowed and ready to plant, from wild strawberries growing along roadside ditches in June and kittens in the barn.

I am from the murky Missouri River that likes to escape its banks, the cottonwood trees alongside it shedding their sticky stuff that is carried for miles and lands on freshly-waxed cars, making men curse. I’m from one-room schoolhouses and priming the pump and an outhouse out back.

I am from stubbornness and hot tempers, from Smith and Lacy and Cook.

I am from the gossiping and the caring.

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

I am from “there’s an all-seeing Eye watching you” and immersion and the King James Bible and a capella singing; I’m from learning on my own that nobody’s all that perfect, and that grace covers sin.

I'm from cornfields and pastures of the midwest, from Ball jars containing green beans and home-made pickles, beets and peaches, peas and corn, lined up on shelves in dank, musty-smelling cellars where you always keep your eyes open for snakes.

From the time my parents waded mud in December to get married after their car got stuck; the baby Aunt Ruby lost to pneumonia; and the great depression, when people got together and played cards and made ice cream for recreation.

I am from pictures and old letters tossed in a five-gallon lard can that reveal what life was like in the late 1930's, when mama's baby boy was still-born and my grandpa died of cancer. I’m from stories about what it was like when Mother was a little girl. I’m from finding out after she was long-gone that my grandfather wasn’t as kind and gentle as I had been led to believe and, for some reason, being disappointed about that.

I'm from knowing that I come from people as good as any, and better than many.

I wish everybody would do this exercise.   I'll guarantee you that if you do it, you'll never forget the feeling.  For the template, go HERE.  I've done it at least three times, and it always comes out different.  
I can think of so many friends and relatives that I'd love to have do this thing.  Of course, I can't force them.

5 comments:

Margaret said...

What a wonderful list!! I loved reading this; you've led a fascinating life. Mine is boring in comparison. (although I found out that same thing about my mom's dad--after he died)

Sonya said...

I did one and mentioned you in my blog as my inspiration to do it! lol I enjoyed reading yours and enjoyed writing my own. Makes me feel like a little girl again!

Michaele said...

LOVE IT! You did a wonderful job. I may try it too.

Southern Gal said...

Oh Donna, I love your blog. You are truthful and funny with words. You love your family and animals. God and Jesus guide your life. I am trying to do this exercise. It is difficult I have to admit. I will take my time. I'll show you mine. Tell Cliff hello from Jefferson City. God bless you both.

Gabrielle

Robin said...

UGH this is going to haunt me! I remember people doing this in JLand and I couldn't figure it out then. I'd love to do it...just dont think I have the skills.