Monday, September 17, 2012

#MemoryLane Mondays- Where lil' ol' T is From...

I've been wracking my brain for something to post today. I have Karen Stivali visiting tomorrow for Tuesdays with Taryn and I have an idea for what I'm going to maybe do for Writerly Wednesday, but today had me stumped on what I might be able to share memory-wise. As I told my sister, I can only tell the cat in the Christmas tree story only so many times!

So then I stumbled across fellow Triberr tribemate Pauline Baird Jones' blog this morning and it seemed fitting that I should do THIS- to revive the old noggin of things I remember about who I am and where I'm away we go-
I am from old cars bodies stacked high in the back lot of the junkyard, from fried chicken and homemade biscuits and Coca~Cola. I'm from pigs in the stalls and mules in the mud. I'm from fresh chicken eggs and stray dogs and cats. I am from riding bareback and tromping through manure in my uncle's galoshes. I am from Queen of the coal pile to junkyard adventurer extraordinaire. I am from a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. I am from a small town.

I am from the suburban brick house with the white picket fence racing around the backyard, of living the American dream, from burgers over charcoal and hot summer days spent beneath the sprinkler. I am from sweltering days spent on the Banana Slide to hand-cranked banana ice cream. I am from the 80's generation, riding my Huffy until after dark and not worrying about being abducted in my own neighborhood. I'm from rocket pops from the ice cream truck and cotton candy from the county fair. I am from afternoons spent playing badminton and wiffleball in the front yard, to chasing fireflies with a Miracle Whip jar with the neighbor kids.

I am from the lilacs that perfumed the spring air through my bedroom window, from the crisp autumn scent of woodburning stoves. I am from the bitter cold snow and the night my dad tunneled a path down the slope in the back yard so my sister and I could go sledding.
I am from my Momma's wild pink roses that smelled so good, to the peppery deep red ones my grandmother grew that almost arched over the entry to their front porch. I am from a life filled with beauty and flowers in the spring and summer months- of snowball bushes and moonflowers and angel trumpets and the sweet taste of honeysuckle.

I am from a wonderful stay at home mom who loved to paint and do crafts, who sang along to her Alabama and Air Supply into drinking glasses while doing the dishes, who always made popcorn and Kool-Aid for me and my friends when we were in the backyard in our tent made with blankets and chairs. I am from a woman who overdoes the holiday decorating, especially Christmas decorations, making cookies and treats and being drawn to sparkly bobbles and clothing. I also overdo it.

I am from a talented carpenter who was married once before my mother, had no kids from his first marriage, but who met my mother via his ex-sister-in-law because she was dating my uncle (my momma's brother). I am from a man with a stoic attitude and a wicked sense of humor, who could pinch you with his toes. I pick things up with my toes just to wig people out and I get my attention to details, the bills, the checkbook and my chicken-scratch handwriting from my dad.

I am from a two child family and spend much of my time laughing so hard I tear up with my sister Shannon. From the awful jokes we tell one another to the daily text messages just to see how the other is doing, or to gross each other out, we're finally learning what sisters are good for, just like our mom and our aunt did. I am from a childhood that saw its fair share of arguing and bickering, but an adult friendship and kinship that's coming into it's own.
I am from the gossip and serious-minded- from my mother the talker, who believes in the importance of family and my father, who is studious and intelligent. I am from the dreamer and the cynic, who have walked this world together, in balance. I am from 37 years of marriage. I am from LOVE.
I am from the parental guidance of "wish in one hand and shit in another" and when trouble pops up- "what goes over the devil's back comes under his belly." I am from "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" and "you gotta stand for something or you'll fall for anything."
I am from a mixture of non-churchgoing and churchgoing alike, but to be quite frank- I don't know a lot about my family's religious background. I am from a grandmother who taught me in childhood to memorize Psalms 23 and she also taught me the "Now I lay me down to sleep" prayer. Otherwise, I am from denominations or beliefs no one will talk about, though the importance of family seems more important. I am from parents who gave me the freedom to figure out my own beliefs without someone else's influence or opinions, so I am from the Spiritual. I am from the earth and the heavens and the seasons in their turn. I am from the school of "do unto others as you'd have done unto you." I am from my own personal belief certain we are supposed to love all others as equals. I am from the church of it's okay to have differing beliefs and still be friends. I am from the idea that we should COEXIST. I am from the notion that I am free to choose for myself because I live in the United States and I have freedom to believe what I want to believe because it's personal to me.
I'm from Kentucky, Indiana, Ireland, England, Germany, Holland, Scotland, North America (and probably more that I'm not aware of). I am from a melting pot of backgrounds too deep to fathom, too rich in history to encompass it all in one thought. I am from sugar popcorn and oyster soup. I am from down home country cooking where my grandfather raised his own pigs for slaughter, where chicken eggs were gathered daily, where it wasn't uncommon for my uncle to bring home a turtle he found on the road so he could nail it to a stump so they could eat it for supper...

I am from the fact that I have never eaten turtle in my life after my grandmother had me hold a turtle heart in my hand as a kid. I would never eat it at all after that. I am from cornbread battered fish, bass we caught when we went fishing and cornbread battered fins and tails and fish eggs. I am from a childhood of never having worried about the West Nile Virus, especially when my summers were filled with mosquito bites and soothing them with rubbing alcohol every night.

I'm from sweaty summers spent mostly outside, riding my bike or sitting beneath the tree in the front yard with my boombox and my cassette tapes. I'm from scribbling in notebooks and drawing illustrations of my happily ever after stories that my friends read. 
From my grandfather's time in WWII, when the love letter he sent my grandmother made her think he'd found someone else, but it turned out he hadn't. That love letter was from around the same time that my older half aunt was born, who I knew nothing about until was grown and by then both my grandparents had already passed away, so we'll never truly know what happened.

I am from the grandparents who were missionaries in South America when I was a baby, who built homes and taught the children. I am from a musical background on both sides of my family- with piano and guitar and the French harp, though I do not play instruments myself, I do love music. 
I am from hazy faded photos on the walls and shelves, in photo albums and tucked away in my trunk, from old letters and birthday cards and crisp old sheets of papers in the bottoms of dresser drawers that haven't been opened in years. Who I am is capture in those things because it's where I'm from...

I am from Anderson County. I am from Lawrenceburg. I am from Kentucky. I am from a place where my roots run deep and my heart belongs, where family means everything, friendships don't fail you and love lasts forever.

Here are the questions if you'd like to do your own Where I'm From...

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