Last Month Michelle of Bleeding Espresso wrote a poem modeled after George Ella Lyon’s, “Where I am From.” She included a form you can use to collect your own thoughts, and finding myself in a momentarily ambitious state, and procrastinating a less-than-ideal last minute assignment, I accepted the challenge.

I found this post to be exactly what I needed to re-energize my writer’s spirit, and memorialize my family’s heritage. And, now – “Where I am From … ”

Texaco, land of black gold and Texas Tea, of Spindletop, gushers, and a lifetime of perseverance. I am from  Texjoy Seasoning and mayhaw jelly eaten on bread, toast, muffins or from the jar.

I am from a town with two stop lights, a Sonic, a Dairy Queen, and six gas stations. Where the wind spins the dust in tight circles, and a familiar face awaits you at every corner.

I am from bluebonnet pastures along the Texas highways, and from where the Big Thicket meets the Wild West.

I am from the Hunter’s Breakfast, the first Sunday morning of deer season, with homemade sausage, cream gravy, and buttermilk biscuits, where stubborn pride was passed from my mother, her mother, and her grandmother.

I am from fierce family loyalty that defends to the end, who might think a negative thought of another, but would never allow an outsider to say it. From “Blood is thicker than water,” and “Don’t let your Maw Maw find out.”

I am from the Holy Spirit Catholic Mission, built with the hands of my family, and based on their values. I am from rushing inside the temporary tin building to get the seat beside my grandmother. I’m from two collections a week, and “Why don’t you give a little more, if you can?”

I’m from rural southeast Texas, northwest Louisiana, France, and Spain. I’m from the land Columbus discovered, where we dance the pow wow and embrace the native land. I’m from Scotland, or Ireland, or somewhere in between.

I’m from sausage and chicken gumbo on a brisk, fall day and beef tips with rice and fried okra on special occasions. I’m garden grown tomatoes and freshly picked cucumbers. I’m shelling purple-hull peas with Paw Paw on his white-washed porch. I’m telling my mother about my day while she develops pictures in our newspaper’s dark room. I’m picnics in the driveway with Cole on bright sunny Saturdays, complete with stale Doritos and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

I am from albums needing to be finished and digital photos waiting to be printed. I’m from boxes spread throughout southeast Texas, and two silver bins here in Italy. The pictures taken as time stood still, in a moment when we were young, and problems seemed nil. I know where I’ve been, and who I am; Where I am, but not where I’ll be. I am from all of these places, where memories and traditions are gathered like fallen leaves in orange and gold bundles. This is where I am from.

15 Responses
  1. Being a Texas girl myself I felt like I already know you from reading this post. Today I have been searching on the web for the best bluebonnet patches to get my boys pictures made this weekend. :o)

    Can I tell you because of my love for Italy I am a little jealous that a Texas girl has made it her home. Enjoying your blog. :o)

  2. That was so great! It’s so interesting to see how different all of our backgrounds are depending on what corner of the world you are from and what your family is like. Loved it.

  3. I loved this and I’ve been procratinating on this as well. When I read Michelle’s I printed out the form and have been thinking about it ever since.
    You wrote a fabulous family background. I’m all teary and I’m not even from Texas. Makes me think about all we have experienced in our lives, especially our childhood when problems really did seem nil and time did stand still. It did, I know it!

  4. Gail

    Hello, I just found your blog through 5 minutes for Mom.
    My husband and I have recently moved from Santa Cruz California to Bologna, Italy with our 2 yr old boy. We are feeling very much like fish out of water. Please tell me this gets easier!
    I would like to add a link to your blog on mine, your cooking recipes will be very helpful for me. The supermarket is still an unknown region apart from things that look familiar to me.
    I am also looking forward to more of your travel tips. We are here for 2 years with my husband’s job. So Im looking forward to knowing Italia a lot more over the following months. Grazie. -Gail

  5. Thank you, Robin!

    I know, Jan. Texas, esp the Hill Country, is really nice!

    It IS good, Linda. Although, I usually pass on the sausage!

    Thanks, Susiej!

    Oh, Jenn, did you find a field? I hope you will post about it! Don’t be jealous, just come visit!

    I agree, Erin! It was a really fun post to write!

    YES IT DID, Cheeky. Now, it flies. Please do the post. I know you will do a GREAT one!

    Hey there, Gail! I’ll be emailing you, as well, but welcome to Italy and the expat group! It DOES get easier, I promise. Before you know it, it will feel like “home.”

  6. Where you are from sounds like the small town in South Carolina where I am from. Except there is no Black Gold (Beverly Hill Billies – classic show). Thanks to your 7 links I was able to find this very nice post!

  7. Glendora Nicholl

    In some countries, especially those with small numbers of animals being milked, as well as harvesting the milk from an animal, the dairy may also process the milk into butter, cheese and yogurt, for example. This is a traditional method of producing specialist milk products, especially in Europe.,,

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