I am from a gray split level with a basketball hoop and a crunchy gravel driveway.
I am from The Cosby Show and The Smurfs.
I am from lilacs and sunflowers, oaks and pines and crawly things.
I am from where the lakes begin and Runestone country. I am from lefse and lutefisk, but I never eat the smelly lutefisk. I am from cribbage players and golfers, ice cream lovers and hot dish makers. I am from Colleen and Dale and Helen and Glenn.
I am from humor with loud bursts of laughter and long naps in the recliner. I am from work hard and overcome and trials that make you stronger.
I am from pull yourself together and you always belong.
I am from Covenant and Lutheran and Baptist traditions, family camp and Sunday school and sermons. I am from youth group road trips to Montana and the Ridgedale mall. (Hello JUNO lovers!)
I am from the hard road walked with dementia, diabetes, and debilitating strokes. I am from the faithful spouses that endured the pain and held the hands and gave the baths and their lives. I am from my Mother's tumor, removed from her skull but never far from our hearts. I am from her best friend's dying moments with Cardinals soaring while my Mom held her hand.
I am from a mother who survived and thrives and travels and lives. I am from a father who survived and thrives and lives.
I am from calloused working and hands and pushing through and addictions left behind.
I am from the lumber yard owner who survived a fire and the mail carrier with mail carriers never get old, they just lose their zip hanging on the wall.
I am from still nights filled with the deafening and soothing noise of croaking frog choruses.
I am from the sounds of night trains rattling the house while rocking back to sleep.
I am from the dead of winter that stiffens your joints, your clothes and even your hair.
I am from the place my Grandma Helen was found one of the nights she wandered off, confused and forgetting.
I am from small towns where people come together to search and find and hold each other up. I am from a woman that sat in a dugout and then a nursing home with faith and love and a tear rolling down her cheek at the sight of me, even when only her heart knew me.
I am from good people and hard journeys, orphaned grandparents and overcoming. I am from footsteps hard to follow but best to follow with imprints in the dirt that help me find my way.
I have one last Grandparent left here with us and she's smart as a whip and funny and good. Going to her door is going home for all of us.
It is where we're from.
(A big thank you to Amy from The Never-True Tales for the inspiration. I had all of these nostalgic pictures and no idea what to say. Until I read Amy's Where I'm From post. Thank you, friend!)