Friday, August 3, 2012

Write Now: Where I'm From

I saw this featured on a blog I follow called the Southern Belle View and I immediately wanted to write my own. 

At the end of this post, you'll find a link to the template you can start with if you would like to write your own.

Where I’m From
By Connie Thompson Kuhn
Me, Dennis, Neal, Monty, and Dawn
I am from a Partridge family lunchbox with David Cassidy’s smiling face, from thick, white slices of Bunny bread slathered in Welch’s grape jelly and Jif peanut butter, because that is what choosy Moms chose.
Dawn, Dennis, Randall, and Me
I am from the salt box house that needs painting in the heart of the Beaumont Mill Village, where fence lines weep with with boughs of honeysuckle vines, wild Morning Glories, and a vegetable garden planted in the foundation where the coal house once stood.

I am from when a red caboose was always at the end of the train, thickets covered with wild blackberries picked for our mother to bake the dark juicy berries into a cobbler — Mama's favorite.

I am from a long line of strong women. From Laura, my grandmother, who loved to read and showed me a world beyond my own on the library's shelves. From Mary Anne, my mother, who taught me to cook and my life’s greatest lesson — practice will make you better, not perfect. 
Dad, Me, Dennis
I am my father’s mantra: Winners never quit and quitters never win. In blue ball point pen my Grandmother wrote I believe above In the beginning… and I search through those pages looking for guidance from God through the passages she's highlighted.

From you must wait an hour after eating to swim because Randy Ruppe didn’t, my father and the others searched for him, but the divers pulled his body from the murky waters of lake. My brother, Randall, his namesake so that he is honored and remembered.

I am from stained glass windows, the third pew on the right from the front, my Grandmother was no back pew Baptist, she sung in shrill Soprano and I always wanted to cover my ears, and as the pastor shook his hands pounded the pulpit, his face went red as he delivered the message meant to save our souls, Grandmother would hand me a peppermint, pat my leg and smile and I would do my best to unwrap the crinkly paper without making a sound.

I am from the red clay dirt of upstate South Carolina, where summer brings Duke's mayonnaise jars with lightning bugs, games of Red Rover and Hide N Seek, and freshly sliced tomatoes, fried okra, and creamed corn on the table every Sunday after church — every week a Thanksgiving.

From the Grandmother, who sneaked off to get married, returning that same night to her childhood bed to sleep between her sisters, her secret safe until Cousin Billy let it slip.

I am from assorted picture frames of gold, silver, black, and wood, none matching but each holding the images at various ages of the six children my Grandmother bore, the ten grandchildren that came through them, and the great grandchildren – the legacy continued, she never took a picture down, she always added another frame and when she could no longer live alone, all the photos were placed in a book.

And on Grandmother's last day when she told me she was going Home, I thought of the yellow kitchen with mismatched dishes, the wooden fork and spoon she got with green stamps from Community Cash, the gas stove, cast iron skillets, and the percolator she used to make her morning coffee.

But her home was now with God, and in that last moment of her life, she smiled at me, her eyes the same clear brown as when we sat on her front porch, the metal glider painted white each year to hide the rust, we snapped beans as she told the stories of when she was a girl like me.

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