This was an exercise from last year, done on my own blog and many others. You may have seen it. And while I’m not a huge proponent of recycling, this one has been on my mind again since Kim posted about her kids’ summer plans. We all come from a story.
My parents old house across the street from me is for sale, and they’ve cut down the big swing tree in the backyard. The one with the chains that grew into the tree. It’s all in pieces at the street, and I’ve stared at them for the past two days. The weeds are growing with little flowers everywhere and I keep thinking my mother would be so embarrassed to have her yard look so unkempt.
This is an amazing thing to do for yourself, and the template is at the bottom for you to give it a shot. Here’s a little piece of me.
Where I’m From…
I am from Coca-Cola and orange soda straight from the bottle, and drinking from the garden hose on a hot day. I’m from leaving the house in the morning and staying gone till dusk, till Daddy’s voice called me home. From handlebar pumping, treehouses, double-daring, and carving my own rubberband gun from a stick. I’m from no cell phones, computers, VCR’s, or cable TV. From black rotary phones wired to the wall, Hee Haw and Disney on Sunday evenings, and three-cent green apple bubble gum.
I am from the only 2-story house on the block, that was really just a converted attic. I’m from duct work made from a Dentler’s Chip can and wires held together with duct tape. From the upstairs room with the shower that never was. From a carpenter’s house, where the smell of sawdust and grease will always make me close my eyes and see my father’s hands, and the sound of an arm saw makes me long for hot summers in a dusty garage.
I am from the magnolia and dogwood trees that flower the sky of Southeast Texas, and the pinks, purples and whites of azaleas. From deep green St Augustine grass and verbenia bushes with millions of red berries that will kill you if you eat them…or so we were told.
I am from homemade ice cream cranked in a bucket while someone sat on the lid, watermelon seed wars, camping on the Neches River bank in East Texas where the stars were many, waterskiing, and playing Chinese Checkers and Yahtzee in a homemade wooden and felt box made by my dad. I’m from Duchess, Prince, Duke, Honey, and Brandi, all beloved dogs buried in the backyard at a house I can only see from across the street now. I’m from unlocked doors and just walking in, and sitting on the front porch drinking coffee.
I’m from Lovelace eyebrows and Milburn smiles, Nanny’s drama and Maw Maw’s sweet silliness. From craziness everyone talks about, and skeletons no one talks about. From blue eyes and curly hair and two big brothers. From chain smokers and staying in a log cabin on vacation for me when Mom really wanted a hotel.
From y’all, fixin to, ice box, and because I said so. From pulling weeds at the roots and dusting every single nick-nack on weekends.
I am from Lutherans and Baptists, and sitting on the right side because no one had ever sat on the left.
I’m from Port Neches and Copperas Cove and Indian arrow heads on a hill. From lemon meringue pie and sand tarts at Christmas, homemade soup and shrimp gumbo, Steen’s Cane Syrup and Daddy’s special milk hash on toast to give Mom a break. I’m from ritz crackers with peanut butter, frozen bananas, and midnight snacks of sugar bread with hot milk.
I am from a homemade treasure trunk full of black and white pictures, a closet full of cards and letters and macaroni projects from children now grown, and the box of handmade Christmas ribbons used every year because giving them back was the rule. From overcoming economic hardship, union strikes, divorce, illness, and any adversity. I’m from June and Buddy, who I miss so much it aches.
The original link is found here.
The WHERE I’M FROM Template
I am from _______ (specific ordinary item), from _______ (product name) and _______.
I am from the _______ (home description… adjective, adjective, sensory detail).
I am from the _______ (plant, flower, natural item), the _______ (plant, flower, natural detail)
I am from _______ (family tradition) and _______ (family trait), from _______ (name of family member) and _______ (another family name) and _______ (family name).
I am from the _______ (description of family tendency) and _______ (another one).
From _______ (something you were told as a child) and _______ (another).
I am from (representation of religion, or lack of it). Further description.
I’m from _______ (place of birth and family ancestry), _______ (two food items representing your family).
From the _______ (specific family story about a specific person and detail), the _______ (another detail, and the _______ (another detail about another family member).
I am from _______ (location of family pictures, mementos, archives and several more lines indicating their worth).
Do you ever wish you could look off in your past or even off in other people’s lives and be someone else, or live in their shoes? Even if just a day…or a week?
I ask this because while I’m still writing on my current novel, the “new idea” gremlins are beginning their game with me. I’m playing with a novella idea of a woman who goes on vacation and due to circumstances falling in her lap, pretends to be someone else for a weekend, someone she’s always envied.
Have you ever thought about that? If you could be someone else for a day, who would it be?
Today is 12.12.12. A repetitive date that won’t happen again for another hundred years.
Well, that is, unless the world ends on the 21st, in 9 days. In that case, we’ve seen our last repetitive anything. 🙂 But I’m not going there, because my daughter is scheduled to travel to NYC that evening, and while I don’t believe the Mayans, I do believe in crackpots wanting to use our fear against us and do crazy things.
But I digress… 🙂
I really wanted to talk about my craziness of remembering dates. Dates I don’t really care to remember! Not the important ones! Oddball times of my life stick with me, and raise up and wave every year. It’s the goofiest thing. I can’t remember people’s birthdays to save my life… but I can remember the day I started dating a major guy in high school…Sep 18th…when I broke up with him…Oct 16th. I remember a very crucial kick-me-in-the-gut party one year on Aug 8th, when I met my ex on Dec 7th, and something I will not name on July 24th. 🙂
Probably because when I was younger I tracked everything. Everything was important, and vital, drama-filled, and life-altering, so of course I transferred data from journal to calendar to calendar for years. In my older years, I’m doing good to remember what is important from week to week. I have a list on my fridge of all my family and extended family’s birthdays and anniversaries. And then I forget to look at it and miss them. *head slap*
My anniversary is July 15th. I make sure I know that one. 🙂
In the spirit of the momentum I’m living right now, I’m opening the door and inviting you all inside the chaos of my thoughts.
Fair warning, it’s crazy in there.
My novella JUST ONE DAY just went live at Barnes & Noble,
and I’m trying to figure out how to drive traffic to it and possibly get reviews and possibly get more readers while setting up further promo going for BEFORE AND EVER SINCE
which comes out November 6th. I have to set up a blog tour and Twitter party for release day, which I’ve kinda sorta done. By that, I mean I’ve contacted the lady and asked just enough questions to thoroughly confuse and overwhelm myself, and now she waits for all my wisdom-filled answers that I honestly do not have and am too chicken to admit.
I’m supposed to be working on my next novel-slash-possible-series but the push and pull of the novella have split my brain into too many sections. My daughter is a senior in high school and fighting grades and the teenage drama of her life, while I’m trying to go to everything, be everything she needs, help my husband run his cockatiel aviary and go to bird shows with him. Which is cool because he goes to signings with me, too. 🙂 And now I just found out that my daughter needs all –yes, all–her wisdom teeth pulled. Before Christmas. Because, hey, why the heck not. We have nothing else interesting going on. I haven’t looked at the possibility of Christmas gifts yet, and I’m wondering if a giant buy of lotion at Bath & Body will cover everyone on my list. I mean, my husband might not appreciate it, but he’d smell good, right?
Oh, and my job.
Every day, there’s that. I mean, thank God, every day there’s that. But yanno.
Okay, I feel better. I’ve been looking for a way to just let all that out! LOL!!
So…let me in on YOUR inner chaos. What’s going on with you?