Monday, April 24, 2006

Where I Come From

I am from caterpillars and mud pies, from peanut M&Ms and little pink mints kept in green, metal Doan's back pill containers.

I am from pine sap stuck between my fingers and the enormous pine tree that grew in my front yard. I am from swinging on poplar limbs and singing in the peach tree, gnarled and lopsided from many generations of inexperienced pruners. I am from the perfume of lilacs and the musky scent of rose bushes burdened with pink and yellow blooms. I am from white paint peeling off the sides of a clapboard home and the clanging of license plates nailed to my dad's flimsy garage doors. I am from the large, rough limbs of my apple tree that bent down low, inviting me to scamper up. I am from the aroma of apple blossoms and entire summer days spent at the top of that tree. I am from the screen door squeaking in protest as it slammed shut and from green, shag carpet tickling my toes. I am from the dent my dad put in the kitchen ceiling during an argument with my mom. I am from parents who loved each other and stuck together in spite of disagreements.

I am from green grass dotted with cheery yellow dandelions, the purple bearded irises growing in my back yard.

I am from flowers for dear ones on Memorial Day and the acrid smell of vinegar as we colored easter eggs, from laughing all night with my brother and sister on Christmas Eve and unconditional love shown through service and forgiveness, from Barbara Alice Frazier Murray and Great Aunt Millie and Uncle Brett.

I am from the Murray clan, who always talked a little too fast and the Hollands, who always spoke a bit too slow.

From "What matters most is that you're beautiful on the inside. What matters is how you treat people." and "Heather Bug" and knowing I was Dad's "Number One Daughter".

I am from Sunday morning walks to church and the peace that comes from knowing that I am a child of God, that the Savior lives and loves me and that families can be together forever.

I'm from the briney shores of the Great Salt Lake, from Oklahoma and Kentucky, from Cherokee skin that bronzes easily in summer and a good measure of Scottish stubbornness. I am from the sweet smell of sugar cookies baking, from malted goat's milk with Grandpa and from bacon and eggs shared with Daddy long before the sun came up.

From my spunky Great Grandma Holland who raised my father to be an amazing man and was still hurdling fences in her nineties, the strength of my Grandpa Murray who worked every day of his life, who loved and led his family the best way he knew how after his sweet wife died. I am from afternoons spent burning peanut butter cookies with Millie. I am from a mom who lost her mother at eleven and never seemed to take her time with me for granted. She loved me fiercely each moment of my childhood. I am from my dad's calloused and oil-stained hands that worked all day and still had time to play catch with me.

I am from lullabies passed down through generations. I am from family pictures covering the walls and the picture albums in the buffet drawers, from my parents' wedding album that proved to my friends just how good looking my parents were when they were young and just how goofy my dad's tux really was. I am from boxes of faded black and white images of uncles and aunts and of grandparents that I never got to meet. I am from a basement bursting with treasure, cluttered with books and bassinets, furniture and fabric, Halloween costumes and old Home Interior. Much of it is from my parents' life together. The rest reminds them of their childhood homes and of the loved ones to whom they said goodbye far too soon. For me it is a history of where I'm from, simple reminders of ordinary people and lives filled with courage, faith and boundless love.


Anonymous said...

I love it! Thanks for letting me see into your life...these are cool!

owlhaven said...

Awesome!! Loved the honesty of talking about the dent in the ceiling..


Susan said...

This was cool! Came over from Owlhaven. I posted one too if you get a chance to look at it. :)

Anonymous said...

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Chaotic Mom said...

Did you write this? It's absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Thank you for sharing this. ;)

Sue said...

I've stopped in from Owlhaven. I loved reading yours! Was your Dad a mechanic, because that's what my dad did!
Mine are posted--stop in anytime!

Heather said...

Yep, my Dad worked as a diesel mechanic for most of my growing up years. And because he'd do ANYTHING for ANYONE, he's always been partly responsible for keeping a good portion of the cars in our little hometown running.

I'll have to come read yours. I'm working my way through Mary's list.