I am From
I haven’t done many writing prompts as of late, but I saw this one over at The Wink, and then I followed a couple of the linkson that site and soon found myself pondering my childhood and why I am who I am.
If you too want to take a stroll into the past, the template for this thought provoking prompt is right here.
I am from nighties warmed by a heat vent, from Chef Boy’Ardee Ravioli, from huge bowls of Cap’n Crunch slurped up while watching Saturday morning cartoons. I am from Gilligan’s Island and “Never dress, until you Caress” from Little House on the Prairie.
I am from cool hardwood floors, sun shining through smoky windows, air always tainted with strong black coffee, the house on 3rd Street. I am from bikes flying through—and later, beer hidden in—the laurel hedge. I am from chasing flying ants with a broom and playing war and climbing rough-barked trees.
I am from the house of roses, fuscias and rhododendrons, from the giant red cedar, from the acre of little farm nestled in the backyard of downtown. I am from raspberries, bursting with tang, from plums so heavy they drop from the tree, from home-canned green beans, put up in summer and plucked—too hot—from a saucepan in winter.
I am from Friday night eating out, and using good manners, from Daddy—who was not my father but was my Daddy nonetheless—and Mom and stories of the South and poverty and peddling. I am from a mongrel line, with no particular lineage—a mutt. (But mutts do make the best companions).
I am from worry and fear (because babies died before me). I am from be careful.
From stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about and you can be anything you want to be. (For a time, I was going to be a brown cow). I am from do your best and quiet let’s hear this now! I am from I love you.
I am from being dropped off for Sunday school, from loving kneeling at my BFF’s Catholic church, from tears at my First Communion. I am from guilt and fearing the wrath of Godand trusting the Son.
I’m from Alaska then Washington then Arizona then back to Washington (this is what divorce can do). I am from Kraft macaroni ‘n cheese and thinking margarine WAS butter until college. I am from good luck ravioli before basketball games, from ham and cheese sandwiches eaten in the gym, from Cinnamon Kitty.
From the barn my Dad built, telling me it was for goats when really it was for the horse I’d been pining for (and I believed him!), from being born in an igloo, from hiding my vitamins in a house plant—which grew very well. I am from watching my mother take night school, from hopgrassers and muhidity and “accidentally” pushing nasty cough syrup out of a window. I am from standing in the grocery store with my hands on little hips, indignantly telling my mom, “Well you’re certainly not a choosy mother,” when she insisted on the house brand of peanut butter.
I am from a drawer overflowing with snap shots, fading blue ink scrawled on the backs. From people I don’t know, never met. I am from grade school and buck teeth and orange ribbons and fat braids.I am from a mother who endured too much, a glass half empty. I am from a family of five, a family of three.