Where I’m From – A Fun Excercise!


I discovered this years ago, and I enjoyed the trip down memory lane so much while creating this, I thought I’d share it with you. It’s a wonderful family keepsake.

And you don’t have to be a writer to do it – promise!

Below mine is the ‘Where I’m From’ template –  If you decide to try it, please post your results in the comments! 

Where I’m From

 

I’m from Johnson Baby Oil, lemon juice hair bleach, and swimming pool perfume. From standing on towels to protect bare feet from tarmac, waiting to pay Smitty the Ice Cream Man for my fudgicle. I’m from Lilac scented, kite flying, cloud watching summers.

I’m from shoelace skate key bracelets, homemade skateboards, and bicycle wheels clacking with playing cards. From kick the can, pickup softball games, and hide-n-seek until after dark when Mom yelled, including our middle names.  I’m from Gold Bell Gift Stamps, candy necklaces, and Vicks Vapo-Rub.

I’m from the big house on the corner, with the blue spruce dressed in red lights for Christmas. I’m from the room in the corner, with two windows, model horses, swimming ribbons, and a pet mouse, Scout. I’m the one on the left of the couch, Steve on the right, Nancy in the middle. I’m from the creek that ran through woods, all the way to Hidden Lake. I’m from the Civic theater with Tarzan, slow-pokes and ancient, popcorn-scented darkness.

I’m from Shakotko bones and Stutte high foreheads. From Lanie’s sweet smile, and Marge’s distracted love. From Nancy’s elfin face, bullheaded stubbornness, and undying loyalty. I’m from put your finger on your hand to show where you live Michiganders, hockey on TV with my chin on dad’s hip and, after the Lions losing on Thanksgiving in Tiger’s stadium, coming home to the smell of Mom’s turkey and dressing.

 I’m from Angry God Baptists, singing in the choir, and the golden-naved church I thought I’d be married in, and never was. I’m from Russia and Saskatoon, Livonia, and Petoskey, pirogues and pasties. I’m from shit on a shingle, milk toast, tuna casserole and Jiffy Pop.

I’m the keeper of treasures: photos, Christmas ornaments, and Toto’s Styrofoam Reindeer from first grade. From Nancy’s library, to her ‘I Love You’ charm around my neck, keeping a promise all these years she’s been gone.

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The WHERE I’M FROM Template

I am from _______ (specific ordinary item), from _______ (product name) and _______.

I am from the _______ (home description… adjective, adjective, sensory detail).

I am from the _______ (plant, flower, natural item), the _______ (plant, flower, natural detail)

I am from _______ (family tradition) and _______ (family trait), from _______ (name of family member) and _______ (another family name) and _______ (family name).

I am from the _______ (description of family tendency) and _______ (another one).

From _______ (something you were told as a child) and _______ (another).

I am from (representation of religion, or lack of it). Further description.

I’m from _______ (place of birth and family ancestry), _______ (two food items representing your family).

From the _______ (specific family story about a specific person and detail), the _______ (another detail, and the _______ (another detail about another family member).

I am from _______ (location of family pictures, mementos, archives and several more lines indicating their worth).

 

Website | + posts

Laura Drake is a New York and self-published published author of Women's Fiction and Romance.
Her romance series, Sweet on a Cowboy, is set in the world of professional bull riding. Her debut, The Sweet Spot, was a double-finalist, then won the 2014 Romance Writers of America® RITA® award. She’s since published 12 more books. She is a founding member of Women's Fiction Writers Assn, as well as a member of Western Writers of America and Women Writing the West.
Laura is a city girl who never grew out of her tomboy ways, or a serious cowboy crush. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write full time. She realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan and is currently working on her accent. She's a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.

20 thoughts on “Where I’m From – A Fun Excercise!”

  1. This was FUN!

    The WHERE I’M FROM Template

    I am from hot rollers, from Clairol and Maybelline.

    I am from the country decor, Duncan Hines cake, the smell of fried chicken.

    I am from the bluebonnets, Indian paint brushes, and prickly pear cactus, the sight of MooLa on the town square.

    I am from rodeo tradition, and honest folks from PaPa Bud and Granny Ruby, and Lucas Pride.

    I am from the stubborn, loyal, and giving.

    From spitting after seeing a black cat and never closing someone else’s open knife.

    I am from God fearing Church Of Christ, and Cowboy church.

    I’m from Hico, Indian, and German descendants, and bean tacos and chicken fried steak.

    From the a share cropper great-grandfather, who shot a man over theft (didn’t kill him), and the PaPa who was in Japanese prison camp and walked the Baton March in WWII!

    I am from the start of the hill country, can fans, Cowboy hollering Sunday’s, Dublin Dr. Pepper, JAKE and Dorothy cafe, that make all of us feel like, it’s one only place on earth worthy of calling home.

    • WHERE I AM FROM BY STEPHANIE JENKINS ORTIZ CERRILLO

      I AM FROM RIDING IN THE BACK OF PICK-UP TRUCKS, FROM DR. PEPPER DRINKERS, AND SWEET TEA.

      I AM FROM THE EDGE OF THE PINEY WOODS OF EAST TEXAS TO THE HILLS OF KENTUCKY AND TENNESSEE, FROM THE PLAINS OF WEST TEXAS TO EDGE OF HILL COUNTRY LIVING IN OLD FRAMES HOUSES TO BRICK HOMES WITH POOLS.

      I AM FROM BLUEBONNETS AND YELLOW ROSES TO GOLDENRODS AND IRISES.

      I AM FROM HOMECOOKED MEALS SERVED AT THE TABLE WITH FAMILY OF MULTIPLE GENERATIONS SETTING DOWN TO EAT AND CONVERSATE TO A GROUP OF THREE EATING IN FRONT OF THE T.V., FROM THE JENKINS AND FITZGERALDS’S, THE WINDGROVES AND ROGERS, TO THE MEADORS.

      I AM FROM HIGH SPIRITED TO PATIENT AND KIND

      FROM SAYING YES MA’AM AND NO SIR AND SHOWING PEOPLE RESPECT

      I AM FROM DISCIPLES OF CHRIST AND SOUTHERN BAPTISTS WHO LIVE BY HIS WORD

      FROM THE STORIES ABOUT THE COMMUNITY DRUNK TOLD BY MY SHERIFF GRANDFATHER AND STORIES TOLD BY MY OTHER GRANDFATHER THAT HE CAN TELL THE TIME AND DATE

      I AM FROM A GENERATION OF EIGHT SIBLINGS AND THEIR CHILDREN CRAMMING INTO THEIR PARENTS HOME FOR CHRISTMAS TAKING SESSIONS TO EAT FROM THE YOUNGEST TO THE OLDEST, THE TALL LANKY TEENS ALWAYS EATING LAST. UNCLES, AUNTS AND COUSINS GALOR WATCHING COWBOYS GAMES, TO HERDING CATTLE, HARVESTING CROPS TO KEEPING BOOKS. YOU’LL FIND BASEBALL GAMES, FOOTBALL GAMES, BASKETBALL GAMES TO SITTING IN AND EATING OUR FILL OF WATERMELON AMONG ALL THE FAMILY PICS.

  2. this is a fun post. I am too am going to do this with my sister and her daughter and our daughter and our daughter in law. A fun bonding time

  3. The WHERE I’M FROM Template

    I am from egg coffee, from Folgers and sweet apple pie.

    I am from the parsonage, newly built, for my preacher dad and mom in Nisswa, Minnesota.

    I am from the tourist area surrounded by many blue lakes.

    I am from Norwegian and Swedish heritage blessed with music and song from sister Elaine, my dad, and and my McIntyre grandpa Cecil.

    I am from the play hard, laugh hardily, sing rejoicingly, God fearing family of love.

    From humble beginnings measured by everlasting love.

    I am from a musical family who played guitar, banjo, piano, organ and such.

    I was born in South Dakota, but Minnesota is where I was raised to enjoy cinnamon rolls, lemon meringue pie, and a host of Swedish treats.

    From the blacksmith Grandpa Oscar Holmgren and the railroad conductor grandpa Cecil McIntyre, we grew to love a craftsman’s talents and a yearning to travel, by horseback, train, or car.

    I am from strong family ties, God fearing people, hard working folks, who gave life time to breathe in community, friendships, God, playtime, music festivities, church, and making Sunday nights fun with popcorn and Cherry Come sodas. I’m blessed.

  4. Oh this was the best! Some of your list brought back SO many memories of mine. Shit on a shingle made me giggle since my family loved that meal. 😀 We still call it that. I’ll have to think about answers and do this with family. Thanks for posting!

  5. I am from flour from Gold Medal and Crisco shortening.

    I am from the old farmhouse on the hill with the beautiful view of the lake and mountains.

    I am from the apple orchard, the vegetables from the summer garden.

    I am from cousins spending the weekends and big hips, from Grandmother Emma, and Aunt Helen, and the Lynches.

    I am from the large families and raucous family gatherings.

    From you are the oldest and must set the example.

    I am from
    roman Catholics of Sunday mass, Easter new outfit, and Midnight mass at Christmas.

    I’m from Northern New York, French and Irish ancestry which came through Canada, with fried bread dough and corned beef and cabbage.

    From the grandfather who was a rum runner during Prohibition, 20 Daughters of The King who helped settle Canada in the 1600’s, and the Irish who came to Canada to escape the Potato Famine.

    I am from Grandma’s rocking chair and kitchen chairs, from the antique cradle that has been in the family for eight generations, the treadle sewing machine my grandmother used, the quilts she made. All with antique value, but are priceless connections with the family’s past.

  6. I am from Suburbia, from Esther Williams backyard pools and Hula Hoops and climbing on trees. Barbie dolls, Evel Knievel, Brady Bunch, and The Fonz. Every child watched a soap with Mom. I am from the mid-century modern colonials in development tracts on former farmland. Chain link fences, garden tomatoes, and home canning still survived.I am from the evergreen boxwood hedges with holly, too, tulips and daffodils and hyacinths in Spring, sunflowers and lightning bugs in Summer, and mums in Fall on small porticos beckoning conversations between friends.I am from Mom’s family reunions in September with homemade ice cream hand-cranked by the kids and men, red velvet cake with ermine icing, and circles of gossip from great-aunts speaking in Pennsylvania-German. Tether ball, croquet, badminton, and volleyball for all the kids to play. Hayrides on the dairy farm pulled by a tractor usually driven by one of the great-uncles at the helm, the great outdoors was our playground, a family torn apart and orphaned by a pandemic, but knit together with love, faith in God, and hard work.I am from Dad’s Southern tobacco farmers, knowing the value of harvest to get them through Christmas and Winter. Planting potatoes during Easter visits and helping can and freeze during Summer. Rocking on the front porch while snapping beans and shelling peas or shucking corn. Winters I watched Grandma make me a quilt as Grandpa told stories from days of yore.I am from resilient and strong kin, surviving the Great Depression and two World Wars. One side pacifists coming for religious freedom and the other for opportunity in a new land a century or two before.  From a black and white TV in the rec room, paneling on the walls, and no air conditioning or wall-to-wall carpeting in the First State. Church on Sunday, and keeping the Sabbath holy, with only Gospel or Country music playing on the radio and turntable. I’m from roller skates clamped on sneakers on sidewalks and streets and later one-piece boot skates with pom-poms at the rink, a skate key on a red yarn around the neck. Taking the trail to the crick (creek), by the railroad tracks behind the neighborhood. Cattails burning on warm summer nights, snowmen and forts on cold winter snow days. I’m from biscuits and gravy, potato soup with rivels, cake for company, and a big dinner on Sunday. Grilled cheese with tomato soup, tuna fish salad on toast, and pickles on the side. Peanut butter and honey sandwiches, or you could have jelly.Teen years of sun-in while at the beach–why or why? Cruising Main Street, and dances in the cafeteria,and a drama production. College classes and fun, then a grown-up life of my own with a job, and bills, and eventually a family of my own.My family mementos include my grandma’s wedding ring worn with my own, a stack of quilts, some photos, and a host of memories from a simpler time. A precious and fleeting era of a well-loved, and lived, youth. 

    denise

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