I Am From
I am from a glass bottle collection balanced on white shelves, from Co-Cola in the Kelvinator.
I am from the prettiest house on the road, with gray stone, green shingles, wine trim, and a big "W" on the storm door. From a back porch with white poles for climbing and swinging, from a clean kitchen with green vines on the walls.
I am from the biggest garden, from pole beans and watermelon, from the bushes in front with red berries you mustn't eat, but step on to make jelly on the sidewalk.
I am from early Sunday dinners, and monstrous tempers, and "people have more fun than anybody." From Linnie and Nellie, Maude and Jesse, Linzie and Alice. From Esther, and Betsy's farm, and Mrs. Thornton, from people whose eyes and mouths said that I was something. Really something.
I am from depression and escape, from suspicion and vulnerability, from finding funny in what's not. I am not from around here.
I am from "treat the janitor the same as the governor," and "you catch more flies with honey."
I am from Presbyterians and Southern Baptists and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. From Vacation Bible School and giggling at unchurchy things on the church bus. I am from long visits at my Sunday School teacher's house, which became my friend's house.
I'm from England and Germany, Ireland and Scotland. And Up North and Down Home. I'm from biscuits and gravy, and Uncle Jonce's chicken from the church barbecue, and Aunt Jessie's pumpkin pie.
From the man I never knew, and that my mother didn't know long enough, who drank too much and taught in a one-room schoolhouse, and told funny stories and sang bawdy songs that made Maude mad. From women whose dreams and nightmares came true.
I am from a jewelry case filled with beautiful families. The necklaces are the mamas, the earrings are the babies, usually twins, unless one is lost. Bracelet aunts; no men in that smooth, sparkly world. From a box with peeling black and blue paper, photographs faded, frayed and flooded.
With every visit now, I take more and more of that box back home with me.
I swiped this meme from Vajana, who lifted it from HDL, who got the format for it here (in a yellow shaded box, about half-way down the page). I would encourage you to go get the format and give it a try. It helped me remember things I hadn't thought of in years, and pull together some threads that needed weaving.