The "Where I'm From..." meme made its rounds a dozen times or more but never landed here. I've always wanted to do it. If you're interested in doing it yourself, I suggest starting here: Template
I am from homemade cookies, from Kool-Aid and a sun-filled kitchen.
I am from the big white house in the woods, the chimney dotted with cicada shells, the front porch swing with bouncy springs.
I am from the dusty warm hay fields, soybeans in a hopper wagon, tall lush corn that cuts your cheeks, from hickory nuts and acorns and the warm toasted-bread scent of a wheat field in late summer.
I am from rain clouds moving across the fields, racing them home on our bikes, legs a blur.
I am from driving "to town" to see Christmas eve lights and Sunday afternoon visits with grandparents, from Great-Grandma Toots and Don and Margie and Stachlers and Schwietermans aplenty.
I am from the stubborn and determined, the brave and humble. The ones who hug and the ones who do not. From laughter that renders you silent and bent over, from big smiles, large noses, and no-nonsense ears.
I am from a woodshed and woodsmoke and toasty living room floors. From Sunday Night Movies laying on our stomachs and ice cream every night.
From crawdads in the crick and bread-sacks in our snow-boots; from the little bridge, big bridge, and double-bridges. From "Born a Woman" and "Ring of Fire" and late night "Blue Moon o'er Kentucky" and "Yellow Submarine" sing-alongs. From "warshing" the car and "Inspector Ketchup" and from "We Give you Thanks, Hail Mary, Our Father" after every meal.
I am from Sunday morning mass, lined up in a pew. Following the songs with mom's finger, friends across the aisle, sweet baby siblings, and needing to use the restroom during the homily.
I'm from Mercer County, fried chicken and peach cobbler; steak and potatoes. Bar pizza, beer, and bellowing laughter that fills you right up.
From mom driving the tractor up a tree, leaving dad stranded on a branch; from a tree falling on the grain elevator and wondering if dad was still in there. From chains hanging in tree branches, from straw mow slides and mazes and forts, and long drives to visit Grandpa at the hospital.
I am from photos in albums and ziplocks and boxes; in velvety books on a dark wooden shelf. From younger selves smiling in '80's home videos. I am from still frames of men standing close on a battleship wharf, of siblings in front of a German homestead, of friends on front porches in each generation.