I am from quilt frames, from Singer sewing machines and fabric scraps.
I am from purple shutters that make the neighbors shake their heads and from thin walls that allow me to hear their conversation.
I am from the willow tree where the dove coos, from the gladiolus that soared above my little girl head.
I am from the storytellers and the stubborn, from Johns and Thomases and Helens.
I am from the graciously welcoming and the silently grudge bearing.
I am from 'put away your tears' and 'be strong.'
I am from the proud and angry atheist, from the seeking Unitarian, from the contemplative Quaker, and from the tear-streaked cheeks of an old man singing 'How Great Thou Art' as the pipe organ crescendos.
I am from Pennsylvania, from hard pretzels with your ice cream, potato salad with hot bacon dressing, and thick homemade egg noodles in chicken potpie.
From the woman who wet nursed her neighbor's dying child, and who gladly fed any hungry soul who came to her door,
From the man who could entice songbirds to eat from his hand,
From the young man who wanted a red-haired daughter to name for the grandmother who took him in when his mother died and his father abandoned him,
From the girl who shot out the neighbor's window using the BB gun to make sparks in the street, From the boy who made his mother scream when the garter snake in his shirt pocket crawled out during dinner.
I am from a hundred years of photos from both sides of a family, including the 6 old photo albums I knew to find in the top drawer of the dresser in the neat as a pin attic...the ones I was given all the stories for just weeks before a generation passed into the faded pages.
Where are you from?