Saturday, July 23, 2011

Where I'm From

Recently, Steven and I ventured to north-central Pennsylvania for a reunion of my dad's family. I hadn't been to Potter County since before my dad died over 29 years ago, and it was quite amazing to take in the incredible scenery (they don't call Potter County "God's Country" for nothing!) and to catch up with family who I hadn't seen in ages. I haven't sifted through all our photos of that weekend yet, but here a couple shots of Pennsylvania's natural beauty:

Reconnecting with family after such a long time away was wonderful, and it brought forward a million memories from my childhood. I recently read Clueless but Hopeful Mama's Where I'm From post, and I had been wanting to pen one myself for the last few weeks. With all these memories from the past fresh in my mind, this exercise was very easy and a lot of fun.  

Where I'm From

I am from olive-colored kitchen appliances, Kodak cameras, half-hidden bottles of Black Velvet and kids’ clothes sewn by hand.

I am from the neat white ranch with the tan roof, a T-bird in the driveway, floors you could eat off of, and KC and the Sunshine Band on the eight-track.

I am from pollen-covered red poppies, the dainty pink rosebush, a sweet purple lilac, papery birch and dusk-blooming moonflower. From ant-covered peonies, fireflies, corn-fields and hungry mosquitoes.

I am from summer birthdays celebrated in breezy garages, pop-up campers in the Thousand Islands, from those who keep secrets and those who tell everything. From Charlene and Howard, from Moores and Hameisters, Hardings and Fords.

I am from saving up until you can afford something and taking good care so that everything will last.

From you-can’t-dance-and-it’s-too-wet-to-plow, and Mr. Tooth Decay will steal your teeth in the night if you do not brush them, every one.  

I am from the closest church we could find when a funeral loomed, a kind lady pastor who played guitar, and talk of a creek baptism that never happened. From wanting to know where Cain and Abel’s wives came from and never getting an answer that satisfied.

I'm from “The Flower City” by way of Genesee and Friendship, from census documents that say Alsace Lorraine and England, and from red hair and freckles suggesting Ireland, too. From homemade cakes, decorated for hours, and fried bologna sandwiches with catsup.

From the boarding house where she told giggling roommates that she’d NEVER go out with that boy from the blind date again, to the winter wedding six months later, and the grandma who swore we descended from a Native American princess. And a disgraced president.

I am from instant photos, slides, wedding flowers and diaries, scattered about on the floor of our someday-baby-to-be room. I am from wishing and waiting to pass all these down.

If you'd like to write your own, you can find the original template here. Leave me a comment if you do; I'd love to check yours out!


  1. This is beautiful. Reading your "I am from" gave me goosebumps for some reason. I think I will try and write my own one of these days.

  2. Hi Annika -- thank you! I would love to see yours!

  3. LOVE THIS. Especially the last two paragraphs. :-)

  4. Thanks @clueless but hopeful mama! I told Bronwen on Saturday that I think she should write one next!

    Thanks @Jen! Yours would be awesome: you are from summers spent water-skiing, and green stuff, and...