I Am FromI first saw "I Am From ..." at Debra's place a few weeks ago and loved it so much that I was determined to do it. It's a fill in the blank writing exercise about your childhood. It sounds simple, maybe a little dull, but it's sooo neat. Last week I gave it to my teenagers as a writing assignment. They wrote awesome essays that were incredibly encouraging to me as a mom. With their permission, I may share my children's essays with you, at some point.
Finally last evening very late I finished mine. When I went to bed I wondered at first if I could sleep, with so many childhood memories stirred up and swirling around in my head. (But exhaustion prevailed-- chuckle...) So here you are:
I am from thunderstorms and muggy nights and green-sky tornado warnings. From Cream of Wheat on school mornings, and White Castle burgers on Sundays and Dreft sitting on the washer when another new baby was on the way.
I am from the white parsonage next to the brick church surrounded by oak trees rustling in the breeze. I am from June bugs and fireflies on summer evenings. From oak tree whose acorns pelted unsuspecting friends from the leafy heights, from Four’O’Clocks that looked divine tucked in little girls’ hair.
I am from churchgoers and readers and baby-lovers, from Leonard and Marie and Hazel and Dale and Marvin and Julia. I am from inquisitive minds, and skillful hands, and loving hearts.
From “all things work together for good” and “ don’t wear those shorts-- they’re indecent.”
I am from forever-Lutherans who believe you work hard and trust God for the rest of it. I'm from Nebraska farmers who survived a tornado and put baby chicks in the bathtub for safekeeping when the chicken house blew away. From Swedes and Norwegians and Germans.
From mom’s homemade pizza and granola and whole wheat bread. From "Aunt Edie" pancakes slathered with butter and powdered sugar. From whole milk straight from the farm where we petted the calves and they sucked our fingers with sandpaper tongues. From apples we got by riding a ferry boat and visiting an orchard ourselves.
From the grandmother who got kittens for me to dress and trundle in baby carriages when I visited each summer, from the grandfather who called me Emsie, and the other grandfather who farmed so full-bore that when he stopped he could fall asleep in the midst of the noisiest gatherings.
I am from Polaroids and Kodak Instamatics whose flash cubes blinded your eyes then were tossed in the trash. From black-paged photo albums where precious pictures were placed with loving hands, and family and faith were valued above all the rust-gathering trinkets that any amount of money could buy.