Then, I read a third one written by another sweet cyber-friend Erin Patrick (My Nuggets of Truth).
As I read them, the light bulb flashed! I remembered that I had worked on the same thing in a workshop some time ago. It was a fun assignment, so I decided to dig mine out. The students were to write where they were from, as their family heritage, using this template…
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).
I didn’t exactly follow the template and I added to the original…
I am from the house historic, once nestled in vast acreage of farmland, where long-ago presidents came to visit and soldiers were stationed, where barn cats roamed and ducklings swam, where horses whinnied and peacocks unfurled their feathers, where fresh fruits and vegetables graced the family table alongside the farm delights of just-laid eggs and butter and milk from our dairy.
I’m from the precious grandmother, who allowed her granddaughter to decorate her hair and the grandfather that smoked those stinky cigars and snuck snacks for me that were a no-no. I am from the mother who loved to chew freshly ground coffee and eat raw potatoes with salt as she fixed dinner, and the dad who gave horsey rides until his back ached, who bought me a softball and bat, who played his trombone in duet as I attempted to play the piano.
I’m from drinking from the hose in the yard, jumping over the sprinkler, sun-blistered shoulders, and playing in the dirt, from the days of open windows and no air conditioning, and riding bicycles around the circle until the bugs of night hit our teeth, then lying in the grass to watch the wonders of the star-studded sky.
I’m from doctors who made house calls. I am from matching sibling pajamas on Christmas Eve. I am from the pear tree that skinned my elbow when I slid down its trunk. I’m from the club with my friends under the big pine tree.
I’m from antennae TV with two black and white stations, from Gumby and Pokey, Mighty Mouse, Howdy Doody, Hopalong Cassidy, Sky King, Ding Dong School, The Lone Ranger, Lassie, Pinky Lee, Roy Rogers, Cisco Kid, and Kukla, Fran, and Ollie.
I’m from American Bandstand in the mid ’50s with Dick Clark, vinyl LP and 45 records on the hi-fi, Wolfman Jack, and sock hops. I’m from itchy wool sweaters and dresses, knee socks and plaid, pleated skirts, because wearing pants to school was not allowed. I’m from come-home-when-you-hear-the-bell-ring-or-else to get cleaned up for Daddy and dinner at 5:30.
I am from the pages of long-forgotten albums of ancestry and heritage, with roots in England, Ireland, and Germany, from upstanding characters who believed in keeping their word, who sought the Lord and helped their neighbors.
I’m from salvation found at a Billy Graham crusade and standing in awe as I met him at my grandparents’ home. I am from Bibles, worn and frayed, marked and loved, from third-row, organ-side Baptist services on Sundays and Wednesdays, and choir practice, from kneebenders who sought the deep, abiding love of God and to serve in return.
~Thank You, Lord, for my wonderful heritage and these precious whiffs of memories!
~~I hope you’ll try it. It’s a great memory jogger.