Sunday, March 15, 2009

Banging the Rust Off of the Old Pipes

I've been busy and sick and stretched a bit thin the last couple of weeks and haven't had anything to write about. Or perhaps I have had things to write about, but have lacked the energy to make it all happen. This prompt has circled the internet for at least four years, but I'm finally doing the "I Am From" writing prompt.

I Am From

I am from dusty softball gloves, glass Pepsi bottles and ball park pickles.

I am from the farm house with no farm, no air conditioning, and no heat but the pot-bellied stove. From white antique wrought-iron beds and six layers of wallpaper. From Hoosier cabinets and well water and the garden down the hill. Empty chicken coops and a rusty grain silo and falling through the barn floor. Picking fresh blackberries from the bushes and exploring the creek for hours on my own, with an old ice cream pail holding my lunch and a book. Reading on the back porch swing with a blanket, and gathering there during especially violent thunderstorms. From the fresh, loamy smell and the brightest green this side of the Emerald Isle.

I am from the Black-Eyed Susans and Queen Ann's Lace, clover blankets, buckeyes and soybean fields down the hill.

I am from stubborn independence, from Herbert and Edna, and Rhoda and Emerson.

I am from bootstraps and responsibility, duty and daily chores.

From "every block has to have an alley" and "I never thought you'd be this much trouble".

I am from hard Sunday pews and a gregarious English preacher, gilded hymnals and thick, humid summers. Clanging coins on brass collection plates and half-pieces of Wrigley's Double Mint. Dresses on rotation and sticky, sweaty legs, burnt from vinyl car seats, permanent lines.

I am from Ohio, straddling the line between agriculture and blue-collar industry, sauerkraut and Uncle Steve's "recipe". A half-formed ancestry, father's side unknown.

From the time grandpa dressed up as the New Year's Baby, learning to tie my shoes with a pair of purple moccasins, and snapping beans until my fingers bled under the nail.

I am from a box of jumbled photographs, spared water damage by the grace of God. Smiling faces at seemingly random moments, fragments of the lives we wanted to appear we had. From pristine manuals, every detail preserved by Aunt Kay who, though childless, has birthed memories better than anyone else.

I am from the swirling tumult, the hazy days, the symphony and the noise. It comes with the breeze, but sticks like dandelion seeds. That's me.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

I think it was lovely, and can't imagine why you wouldn't be super pleased with the expression.