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Ancient History

From

My first introduction to this writing exercise was at The Happy Husband. I’ve thought about doing it many times. Heather, Queen of the Laundry Pile, picked up on it at another blog, Owlhaven. I loved their renditions, so I thought I’d give it a shot too. If you’d like to try your own, I’d suggest this template because it seems to be the “original”. I sorta followed it. One place I am not from is coloring in the lines. It was helpful, though.

Where I’m From

I am from fireworks, KoolAid mustaches and BandAid knees, freckled noses and blue-green eyes. I am from a land of colors, made brighter by thin air. I am from cottonwood trees guiding rivers and elm tree seeds caught in stringy windblown hair. I am from pine’s snappy sap, red cedar desert dirt. I am from the swan on the Grand Mesa.

I am from the steep—the driveway, the mountains surrounding our valley, the climb. I am from the cradled, surrounded by tough land and strong people, so strong they are gentle. I am from brave pioneers who left comfort and the familiar to carve the home out of the harsh. I am from Alice and Willard, Allan and Mary, my mom and my dad.

I am from German potato salad and perfect sugar cookies with almond-spiked frosting. I am from pop on Friday nights and Happy Days on Tuesday nights. I am from a yellow bicycle and desert hills screaming to scream down. I am from sore arms. I am from rainbow trout lakes and sleeping bags and hamburgers cooked outside. I am from homemade dill pickles tart, sharp, sour, and cold.

I am from “Little Visits with God” read nightly by mom. I am from her flowered nightgown and from wondering how she was blonde and I was not. I am from my dad’s oily garage and his wild childhood stories and his humor. I am from Catholic and Protestant, devout and not so devout, prayers of the sincere, prayers of habit.

I am from a major city and a minor town. I am from ballet tights and Mary Jane shoes and dirty bare feet. I am from allowance money spent on paperback books. I am from the thin brown paper bags I brought them home inside. I am from Rock the Casbah on my garage sale stereo and from “turn it down!”

I am from stories told from La-Z-Boy recliners after Thanksgiving feasts. I am from the pictures taken at the feasts and put into albums under clear plastic. I am from large collars and polyester and itching. I am from the car trips home, over the mountains, through the desert, and my parent’s speeding tickets. I am from fake-sleeping and getting carried into the house by parents who knew, but did it anyway.

6 comments to From

  • I was hoping you would do one of these. This was just beautiful Gretchen.

    I love the last bit about fake sleeping.

  • owlhaven
    Twitter:

    This was beautiful!

    Mary, mom to many

  • bro-de-mopsy

    What a way with words. I’m one of the few who can say I experienced most of that with you! Thanks for reminding me of all those wonderful things of our childhood!

  • Laura

    I love that one. I have my students do it every year in September, and I’m always amazed at how good their imagery is when they are speaking of things that mean something to them. Yours, of course, is much more impressive!

  • Sister-of-Mopsy

    You couldn’t have said it better… If I wrote this it would be exactly the same but for one difference… “I am from a time when I tortured my older sister only because I didn’t want her to know how much I actually looked up to her and wished I was as smart and talented as her”

  • i love it! i’m gonna have to give it a shot, soon.

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