Where I Am From…

I am from homemade cherry cheesecake (no cherries), from Oreo wafer and Cool Whip logs and meltaway shortbread cookies.

I am from farm country, where corn and apples grow, fill our bellies and nourish our bodies.  From the Great Canadian Shield, where cliffs are for climbing and rocks are meant to be hunted.

I am from the strong maple, tapped and giving, the white trillium, elegant and delicate.  I’m from evergreens and seaweed, soft bulrushes and fragrant lilac.

I am from Manhunt and late night card tournaments and tubing, from Dannys and Johns and Donnys.  I’m from Country Good Times, from summer parades and talent shows, craft shows and carnival rides. 

I am from the middle of a glass-calm lake with a fishing rod in the water, hook stuck on a log and shore lunches of sardines and pop, eaten with the sound of a dam behind us.

From being seen and not heard and yelling loud enough to break through.  I’m from dirt in the skirt, skinned knees and grass stains, bruised ankles and fat lips.

I am from the front of the Salvation Army Sunday School bus and the warm Catholic church lawn during Bible daycamp.  From the craft room in the Baptist church basement and from the stage in front of the Seventh Day Adventists.

I’m from Dark Lake in the Highlands of Ontario, population 3,000, fire-roasted hot dog spiders and layers of burnt marshmallow.  I’m from the shores of Lake Ontario, Coke Slushies and penny candies.

From tunes sung ’round a campfire with a chorus of guitars echoing in the dark.  From I wanna be a flower growing at your door and family that transcends blood ties or marital bonds.  From cousins and cousins’ cousins.  And cousins of those once-removed cousins.

I am from a tin box in a closet beneath a leather-bound album aside a handmade wooden picture frame.  I am from roll after roll of Kodak film sent through a hundred pastel 110’s and a single Pentax.  I am from images in my mind and photos stacked tall, unorganized, all speaking a million words of a childhood, happy and long gone.

***

From here.  Found everywhere, like here and here and here.

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21 thoughts on “Where I Am From…

  1. It’s beautiful. I like the Dannys and Donnys and cousins’ cousins… Ahhh. So much comfort in a lot of that. : ) Reminds me of being a kid. Thanks for sharing.

  2. My dad had sardines, grandad wanted vienna sausages and I always had kipper snacks. We had saltines and waverly wafers with them and pop, of course, only we called it coke (no matter what brand it was). Me, I’m from Arkansas but I’m happy I don’t live there now. Texas suits me.

  3. This is cool, probably especially so to me, as I’m from exactly the same place that you’re from. It also made me aware of how many different churches we frequented as children…Good Lord… I recall doing some sort of scavenger hunt at the Pentecostal church, so you might have missed one.

    • Oh, I just summarized. I definitely remember going to the Pentecostal a few times. I even remember standing in line MANY times to actually sign up for VBS. Also Calvinettes (a Christian Reformed girl’s club, for the uninitiated) and I went to Hi-C (but you didn’t, Trace; I went with friends).

      And yet…did we learn anything?

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