Monday, October 12, 2009

Where I'm From . . .

The following is a writing exercise based on this poem by George Ella Lyon, inspired by this poem from the same exercise by Tiffany.

I am from a long-haired, motorocycle riding, truck driver cellist who likes telling stories and
a selfless, faith-filled, fashion merchandise major with a propensity for talking with her hands.

I am from pioneers roots and religion
stacked up along side
rebellion, skepticism, Sunday head aches and family prayer itches.

I am from alternating visits to
red sandstone bluffs we climbed under a hot desert sun which heated the tall metal slide at the corner park to searing temperatures ill-suited for short-shorts and
Snake River falls with bone chilling winds, a white picket fence, koala sheets and talking snapdragons.

I am from walking through a meadow holding my father's large hand as the grass waved above my head and stubbornly repeating "I know Mom" when offered explanations and guidance.

I am from a Springbar tent with camping trips to places with exotic names like Timpooneke, Christmas Meadows, Navajo Lake and Island Park with campfires, dutch oven meals, face cards and hours of unscheduled, unsupervized time wandering the woods.

I am from three younger siblings:
one dropped fried ice-cream in the parking lot on New Year's Eve,
one had the other "comfy spot" in the car,
one had extremely stinky shoes,
one was not to be disturbed while playing his game,
one was my "slave",
and one tossed her hair over the back of the front seat so that it tickled our knees.
Together, we filled Sundays with little guys and Snoopy.

I am from a place without allowances or curfews
but where three snaps and a scowl from Mom on the phone demanded silence,
as did Dad's directive to "Line UP!"

I am from moving boxes and nomadic tendencies
resulting in family references to the "second house in Sandy"
as distinguished from the first, third and fourth. . .

I am from popcorn, fudge and snickerdoodles made by Dad
and chocolate chip cookies and brownies baked by Mom,

I am also from chocolate bars secreted in Dad's underwear drawer,
retrieved after dinner and broken in squares before being unwrapped and passed around the table.

I am from tight finances and entreaties to "finish your education"
followed by elaborate day dreams about the wonderous possibilities of the future.

I am from a uniform of bare feet, sweatpants and t-shirts at home with
snuggling, back rubs, hugs and Dad's "I love this family."

I am from a German Shepherd named Josh who caught frisbees mid-air
and patiently endured the game wherein we attempted to slap our bare feet on his panting tongue.

I am from pot roast and mashed potatoes on Sunday,
rice pudding or pancake dinners when Dad was away and
Mom's tantalizing red velvet cake for birthdays.

I am from
Stravinsky, Brahms, Beethoven and Vivaldi
played with as much regularity as
Kenny Loggins, The Doors, The Doobie Brothers and Chicago
- not to mention Michael Jackson -
where dancing was always welcome until it caused Dad's record player to skip.

I am from long car rides through Yellowstone with Mom reading Beautiful Joe or Cubby books
between hikes, forest ranger talks, ice-cream cones and roadside stops to see buffalo, bear and moose.

I am from
tempers, stubborn wills, corrected grammar and sarcastic zings
mingled with
laughter, bonding, blanket huts and licking the beaters.

I am from open doors, bonding time, tender touching and
Mom's oft repeated entreaty to
"Be Good."

Happy Birthday Mom!


Tiffany said...

Well, you know what I'm going to say, but I'll say it anyway: I LOVED THIS.

What a great birthday gift for your sweet mom!

Ma said...

This is the best kind of birthday gift. Thanks for the stroll through memory lane. Time spent with our children passed by so quickly and now they're all grown up and most are living far away, but memories of the good times spent together are always present.

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