Thursday, December 18, 2014

Where I'm From

I am from Pepsi and homemade Chef-Boy-R-Dee pizzas made by my dad every Saturday night while we watched Perry Mason.
I am from two-story old white houses in a Chicago suburb where we sat on plastic slip-covered couches then moved to a long rambling block house with crank-out Jalousie windows in the Florida countryside.
I am from trees big enough to hold tree houses and porch swings and festooned with garlands of Spanish moss.
I'm from people who tended orchards and sold watermelons, who were blacksmiths, and truckers, and worked in factories with a little waitressing on the side. I'm from the Winns and the Haslauers with more than a little Isom and Chamness thrown in.
I'm from those who just have to say one more thing even when it will only make things worse. I come from a family that wants to do what they want to do WHEN they want to do it (and not a moment before). And God's grace encircled us even through the bad times.
From "I'm late, I'm late for a very important date," to "It's beddy-beddy time for Jerri Leetle Lea."
I'm from Pentecostal worship with Southern Baptist roots. I'm from grace before meals, bed-time prayers, and God's grace encircling us through good times and bad.
I'm from southern Illinois and beans and cornbread with plenty of apple butter thrown in. I'm from stories around the dinner table with lots of sweet tea.
From the first time my daddy met my mama working in a restaurant, my story was set. My mom introduced her cousin to my dad's brother. A double elopement of my parents and and aunt and uncle followed. My closest childhood friends were my double cousins.
I'm from a family that developed a hatred of snow and cold weather so we packed up and headed out of Chicago, Florida bound. My uncle and aunt and cousins came, too. We were a caravan of U-hauls, station wagons and boat trailers loaded up just like the Clampetts heading to Beverly Hills. Grandma Sybil was a part of our group but she most assuredly was not a "granny." And God's grace followed us and encircled us through good times and bad.
We are a clan of good intentions who love intensely but have trouble showing it, who believe in standing behind your "people," who never step out into the "public" unless you can put your best foot forward. We're back-row sitters who sometimes can be the life of the party - when we want to be.
And God's grace encircled us through good times and bad.

Mama's Losin' It

This post was written in response to Writer's Workshop prompt 1. Complete the “Where I’m From” poem. (template here). To read more responses to the prompts, visit Kat Bouska's blog, Mama's Losin' It.


Allison Smith said...

Beautiful! And my family left Massachusetts for the same reason (snow).

Joyful said...

A very excellent post Jerralea! I so enjoy your posts about your family, your roots, and heritage!

Carol said...

What a fun post Jerralea. I can picture you just like the way you described!

betty said...

Nicely done! I like where you are from!


Tori Leslie said...

Jerralea, I love reading this. I feel like I know you so well now. It was a very interesting read and flowed so nicely. Loved it!

Melanie said...

Oh my - where do I begin? I grew up with Pepsi and Chef-Boy-R-Dee pizzas too watching the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour on TV. My Florida home still has jalousy windows. My mother and father hated the snow and moved to Florida, although I was grown and gone by then. Loved reading your memories and seeing the photo!

Dianna said...

What a blessing to read here and learn more about you, Jerralea. I loved hearing that your dad made the honemade Chef-Boy-R-Dee pizzas! That is so cool! And the picture is priceless.

Further down in the description I could relate to many people who love intensely but have a hard time showing it...and doing when they were good and ready...and yet, as you say, God's love and grace encircled us anyway.

Simply Linda said...

Jerralea! Let me tell beautiful..I was born in Hammond, IN, raised in Lansing, IL, moved to Fl when we were 8-9 yrs old. I so can relate to this post. Thank you for the memories..Merry Christmas.

Mel said...

Jerralea, this is wonderful! So beautifully written. Thank you for sharing :)

Cheryl said...

I love your line, And God's grace encircled us through good times and bad. That's what it's all about, isn't it? I am so thankful for His grace!

Thank you for visiting me at Thinking About Home and leaving your sweet comment! I am thinking that we have a lot in common...

Anonymous said...

"From the first time my daddy met my mama working in a restaurant, my story was set." What a beautiful thought. I love the way your phrased this!

Mama Kat said...

" those who just have to say one more thing even when it will only make things worse." ...yes! People who insist on having the last word. Stop it.