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Where I’m From

September 24, 2010
“If you don’t know where you’re from, you’ll have a hard time saying where you’re going.” – Wendell Berry

I am from the white-washed columns and brick, dogwoods and snow. I’m from plate-glass and swimming pools. endless summers and sun.

I am from appliances of avocado-green.

I am from roses and geranimums, agapanthus, and petunias. Weed pulling and dirt-under-my-fingernails cranky.

From peanut-butter-and-honey (not jelly!) From black olives and Best Foods. From pumpkin and apple and crust-made-from-scratch. From slow food and princess cakes. From cloth napkins and company-silver.

I am from sit-like-a-lady, no elbows-on-the-table, and praying before meals. I’m from Velma and Bernice, Harley and Ben. From Robinson and Harrison and Stone.

I’m from Robert and Thomas and James.

From the appearance of perfect and ironed-Sunday-gloves. From sacrifice and saving, From margarine, and Betty Crocker.

From waste-not-want-not to hands bruised by boot straps. From fairies and fantasy. Imagination and story. I’m from Silver Spurs and the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus is real. I’m from doing to others as I would have done to me.

I am from thousands of miles for religious freedom. From a handshake and restoration. From believers and revolutionaries. From warriors and patriots.

I’m from M.A.S.H. and Evening Magazine. From after-school specials and TV dinners. From Who’s the Boss and Magnum and Moonlighting. From the Cosby Show and Family Ties.

From wagon trains and the frontier-wild. I’m from breaking new ground and seeking new spaces. I’m from Salem and Bristol and Plymoouth. From the hills of Tennessee to the plains of Texas.

I’m from a dim hallway of silver frames and strangers who share my hair, my chin, my smile. Their eyes still watching over, at all they’ve left behind.

I am from them.


17 Comments leave one →
  1. September 24, 2010 6:34 am

    >poetic, deep and fun

  2. September 24, 2010 2:09 pm

    >I really liked this. Got a great sense of your history here. Felt iconic.I also feel tied to the Cosby Show and Family Ties. Funny.

  3. September 24, 2010 4:03 pm

    >I agree with Danielle, lyrical and beautiful.

  4. September 24, 2010 4:47 pm

    >I got chills from the ending and then seeing the picture. This was such a wonderful way to record history. It's nice to give notice to where we came from.Yours is just overflowing with history and pride.

  5. September 24, 2010 5:21 pm

    >I really enjoyed this – It never occurred to me to add the TV shows that were such an integral part of my growing up…but I would have included a lot of the ones you did!

  6. September 24, 2010 6:26 pm

    >Beautiful! I am having so much fun reading everyone's take on this exercise!

  7. September 24, 2010 8:15 pm

    >There is so much beauty here…so many things are worth complimenting.But, my favorite part is the image of "hands bruised by boot straps." That is so evocative and rich in meaning. Love it.

  8. September 24, 2010 9:03 pm

    >Avocado green… I can completely relate… we were mauve… I really felt the history… and the photo… wow… how neat!

  9. September 24, 2010 10:26 pm

    >Wow. Just wow. I LOVE the way you write. This just flowed from the page, and I found myself saying "Hey, I'm from there too!" The way you put this together though…wow. LOVE!

  10. September 24, 2010 11:35 pm

    >This was absolutely stunning.

  11. September 25, 2010 12:47 am

    >Oh…I really liked this. We have many things in common, it was fun to read.

  12. September 25, 2010 1:12 am

    >Great job on this, but I also must say, what a great pic! What a treasure.I am from appliances of avocado-green. – oh, yeah! What a great detail.

  13. September 25, 2010 3:00 am

    >That picture is AMAZING.I would love to hear more about your pioneer family! Also? After school specials! Totally forgot about them. You did a great job (as always) Adelle.

  14. September 25, 2010 7:13 am

    >WOW Adelle… you have done great justice to this prompt.. it was like seeing your life in words.. beautiful

  15. September 25, 2010 5:34 pm

    >I found myself nodding my head throughout. The avadcado green, Mr. Alex P. Keaton, all of it. The dirt-under-the-findernails-crank image was spot on. I found myself back in that hot sun, whining, while my mother made me finish weeding with her. You have an amazing eye for details. Just loved this.

  16. September 28, 2010 7:27 am

    >No wonder I've always liked you. I'm from somewhere very near where you're from. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your wonderful writing. Praying for you as you move toward your surgery and through the convalescence/read-a-thon. -Kari C.

  17. November 8, 2011 1:51 pm

    You did well with that prompt. Love the way you used words to create a picture of an era in which I am familiar. Brings back memories.

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