Where I’m From

I am from a place where kids stay out after the streetlights come on, from crackers and Easy Cheese and butter smothered popcorn.

I am from the country…a two-story house, water from a well and acres of land.  I am from honeysuckle and buttercups, scotch broom and thistle.  I am from bales of hay and saddles.  I am from tire swings and slip-n-slides, from wedges of watermelon and bike rides without helmets.  I am from sunburns and jelly shoes, from apple trees and snow boots.  I am from animal lovers and rescuers, from garden grown vegetables and home canned fruit.

I am from Lundquist, McDougall and Fahey, from card games and Super Bowl parties, from 50 cent pieces and scratchy beards.  I am from blue eyes and olive skin, from rules and consequences.  I am from lemon drops and cups of tea.  I am from banana milkshakes and late night conversations.  I am from educators and enforcers, from salesmen and laborers. I am from stubborn and meek, from passive and proactive.  I am from submarines and ships, from newspapers and books.

I am from the fort under the card table and the branch on the big tree in the front yard.  From record players and eight-track cassettes, from Polariods and negatives.  I am from bowling alleys and virgin Shirley Temples, from truck beds and swimming pools.  I am from bleachers indoor and out, from band and volleyball, from music and art.

From Strawberry Shortcake pillows, a canopy bed and albums full of Garbage Pail Kids, from Cabbage Patch Kids and Care Bears.  I am from Saturday morning cartoons and heaped bowls of Golden Grahams.  I am from family road trips and The Bodyguard soundtrack.  I am from emergency room visits and a broken arm, from aunts, uncles and cousins.  I am from wood cutting with Grandpa and dessert baking with Grannie.  I am from yarn and handmade afghans, from fabric and sewing machines.

I am from The Holy Trinity, The Torah, confusion, spirituality.

I’m from the Bear Festival, The Evergreen State and The Muddy Banks of the Wishkah.  From the ocean, blueberry bushes, homemade jam and pillowcases full of Halloween candy.  From the catchy jingles at Christmas time, the tar from the middle of the street, and the dad I finally had the courage to contact.

I am from nicotine outlined frames on the living room wall, scrapbooks and wallets with picture inserts.  I am from yearbooks and wedding pictures, from grade school stories and awards and ceramic handprints.

Me & Grandpa, 1981-82ish

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