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.
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.