Thursday, May 29, 2014

Where I am From...

I was inspired by my friend Tammi to write a poem about "Where I am From..."  She was inspired by her niece. And this is how the artist's circle begins to form.  You can find Tammi's poem and her artwork at Sonoma Coast Weekly.

I met Tammi at Write: Doe Bay in April. Her honesty and talent continue to inspire me. Her son Grady is also an artist and together they work on art journals and read art books and she helped me to see what is possible to do with my own kids.  I want to dig through my drawers and pull out my college art supplies.  I can spell the art eraser as it rubs against the paper.  Do you remember the kind? You had to heat it up in your hand and pull and stretch it until it was soft enough to use.

Thank you Tammi. xo

Where I am From...

I am from a long country road with a name few can spell or pronounce: Schacht Road (you say it like Shock)

I am from a woman who went to Chicago after high school graduation to nanny.  She dyed her hair black and upon her return her mother didn't speak to her.
She left the job early, that's what she thought her mom was mad about.

I am from a man who bought his own new shoes as a boy from the money he saved doing his paper route.

I am from a paper maker and the community surrounding him.  Shift work and beer at The Mill Stop.

I am from a grandmother receiving oranges at Christmas from neighbors and eating the white rind part too...precious treat, like gold.

I am from another grandmother whose floors you could eat off of.  She crosses the room and stops to pick up a fuzz ball from the carpet.

I am from a grandfather who liked to dress like a bum but pay in cash.

I am from another grandfather who owned a grocery store and gave his wife unlimited credit.

I am from old stock and good blood.  German and French Canadian.

I am from a town that gave me Saturday nights at the roller rink, in the winter a skating rink at the Civic Center.

I am from a town that filled me up with Midwestern values.

I am from Wisconsin farms even though I didn't grow up on one.  When I travel, people always assume.

I am from sleeping bags and soda on Friday night watching The Love Boat.  Falcon's Crest with grandma. T.V. trays to hold popcorn and treats reserved for this night.

I am from a series of books called "The Girls of Canby Hall"...begging my mom to take me to The Pine Tree Mall to buy the next book in the series at B. Dalton bookstore.

I am from The Brother's Three pizza on Main Street and I still crave it despite my "no dairy" diet.

I am from a town where the mall used to boom, the downtown too.  Today, I cringe in it's wreckage.

I am from holiday dinners that are always the same.  If we don't have this tradition what do we have? Ham and rolls on Christmas, Hillshire brand preferred.  Turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes with gravy and green bean casserole.

I am from opening a present or two on Christmas Eve and Santa arriving on Christmas morning.

I am from R.V. camping across the U.S. to see the world before I could appreciate it.

I am from cloth napkins purchased at an after Christmas sale, napkin rings too, even though we didn't have a dining room.

I am from a wool, three quarter length sleeved coat with a fur collar and a matching necklace, earring and bracelet set even though there was no place to wear them to.

I am from love and knowing if you did your best that was all that mattered.

I am from wooden church pews and Sunday school, church choir and ham and bean suppers in the church parish hall.

I am from pickup trucks with the window rolled down, country station on the radio and a nod and a raised finger movement to your neighbor.

I am from a gun cabinet in the basement and deer hunting season.

I am from brandy slush and taco dip and Christmas open houses.  Send the men to the basement for poker games.

I am from mini boxes of cereal on camping trips.

I am from gardens planted and pine trees too...Hanging baskets of flowers and geraniums in pots.

I am from trailer courts and high school proms.

I am from a purple banana seat bicycle that my babysitter taught me how to ride.

I am from pride, support, kindness and listening.

I am from everything and I am from nothing.


  1. Beautiful and telling. I, too, had a deep purple bike with white pin-striping and a glittery banana seat. I put that in my first draft of my poem and then deleted. I loved seeing it here! You were such a gift at Doe Bay and I'm so glad we spent our last night together. Thanks for sharing where you're from. xoxo

  2. love this so much as I did Tammi's. So happy to know you both and be present in your creative spirits, keep them coming...xo

  3. Tricia, I am from a lot of the same - and it is beautiful. So many of those same precious things that we all took for granted when we were growing up (it was all we knew) but looking back now can see how very special our childhood was. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Brought a tear to my eye, a slight chuckle, and a smile to my face. Love you, Kush xoxo

  5. THIS: I am from a series of books called "The Girls of Canby Hall"...begging my mom to take me to The Pine Tree Mall to buy the next book in the series at B. Dalton bookstore.
    -- is what I just said to my daughter this week! Thanks for the walk down memory lane :)