Friday, January 05, 2007

Where I'm From

I found another writing assignment...This one is called "Where I'm From". For your dancing and listening pleasure...Here is what I came up with. At the end I will include the template so you can do one yourself. If you do one....Please share it with the class. (If you read the template you will see that I added some of my own ideas because that is just how I roll!)

I am from pot roast and brown potatoes, Chinese noodles and no drinking with dinner. I am from Camel cigarettes and Coors Beer, from Avon "Here's My Heart" perfume and the oddly round bottle of "Shalimar". I am from barrio Puente, V13, Fairgrove Falcons, Workman Lobos. From the red kitchen counter, nicotine stained white walls, baked beans and Pyrex dripping from the ceiling. I am from the golden chrysanthemums spilling over the back fence, Nana's fern on the front porch and rose bushes from every color of the rainbow along the perimeter of the yard. I am from the long green spears of grass with black dust on the ends that are perfect for drawing whiskers on your sister's face on hot summer afternoons, from dough boy pools that seemed as big as the ocean to a 5 year old, from the play house that had real windows and a working door, from a heavy metal swing set and the best, (only), tether ball pole on the block. From the vegetable garden that produced enough tomatoes and zucchini to feed a small nation, from the pumpkin vine that was apparently planted exclusively for my turtle's dining pleasure, from the twig of an ash tree that grew so big that it uprooted my bedroom floor. I am from Fifi, Pepsi, Duke, Bambi, Geeter, Kinardly, Bootsie, Rover, Miss, Fairday, Puff, Fred & Ethel, Lucy and Ricky, Scooter, "Spoon Spoon", Edna, Kilroy, and a live chicken in my bedroom. I am from school shopping at Sears and JC Penney, no Levi's, no Bear Traps. I am from the "March Of The Toy Soldier" at Christmas and the gift giving orgy on Christmas eve, from what will I get Daddy for his birthday...and does it really matter because he won't say anything about it anyway. From cussing when you're mad and blessing you when you sneeze, from Otter Pop care packages when I'm sick to yard sale treasures. From Nancy Ann & Jaime Jose. I am from quiet weekends at Dan Dans, from taxi rides with Nana. I am from the voracious readers and left over eaters. From smokers and drinkers and vitamin takers. I am from the "Church in the Barn", from Irma and Brownie and cold folding chairs. I am from getting dressed up for church and tap dancing in the kitchen with my good shoes while I wait for everyone else to get ready. From "if you were wearing shoes that wouldn't have happened"and "if you break the law you go to jail". From "You just don't know how to listen", "I just called to say I love you". From "I'd just as leave" and "read the table", "furging through drawers" and "chicken bullshit". I am from my dad, as a small child, being so scared of Amy Semple Mc Pherson that he ran away from the church, from my mom as a small child asking her first real live negro sighting if she was "a big, black boogie?" I'm from Sweden, Wales, Michigan , Ohio , New Mexico , North El Monte, South El Monte , Altadena, Pasadena , St. Lukes Hospital . From onion consume' noodle soup, and from German chocolate cake on my birthday. From Papa not allowing us to get a spanking from Daddy when we knocked the Christmas tree over and the broken Sparkletts bottle creating a river of glass and water on the kitchen floor. From the sister putting her knee through the kitchen wall when she didn't get her way and "Yoo hoo, Nancy ..I'm over here". From "feather spray"and "Yoy!" From "Everyone thinks his ass is the prettiest", from "alright you two!" From "Ain't that the shits?", from "I love you a bushel and a peck". I am from pictures that have been in a wallet for so long that they are adhered to the plastic, from pictures in mother's hallway that are always intriguing no matter how many times you've seen them before. From the kitchen divider looking like a shrine to the Pendell children, from the pictures of the various Naval battalions hanging in the garage. Their value: less than the price of the paper they were printed on but I'd maim anyone who harmed them.

That's where I'm from.


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).



Anonymous Adopted Aunt Sally said...

YOU'VE SIMPLY BLOWN ME AWAY ONCE AGAIN!!! And now I really do know where you are coming from and understand you even better. Thank you, Tami.

7:40 PM  
Anonymous Mother said...

Now you've done it! With tears in my eyes and one actually running down my cheek, I'm grimacing and smiling at the same time while reading this. I doubt that it will mean much to those outside of our family...(you had to be there)...but I just can't believe how you can tug at my heartstrings???!! You have got to be the best story teller or should I say author I've ever heard of.....and now I'm crying even more....I don't know what I'd ever do without you and your love of family and your humor and your personality......My family means soooo much to me! Gotta go.....can't handle all this sentiment.....the tears are now pouring. I love you,


11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tami, your mother is right!! You do a very good job of writing and I love reading it. Every once in awhile you say something about your family and life that I recognize and that is fun. Keep it up and I'll keep reading.


12:20 PM  
Anonymous s t a c i said...

How wonderfully descriptive! Every sentence creates such a clear picture - really. I truly enjoyed reading every word!

Thank you for sharing, Tami!!

6:31 AM  
Anonymous Mother said...

Reading it a second time was just as good as reading it the first time....I managed to hold back the tears this time...Did you know that that adorable little play house that we don't have any pictures of....originally belonged to Bob Hopes children? Mr. Kern of Kern Foods bought it from him...and your father got it when his children outgrew it. There's a story I'll bet you never paid attention to....

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Amanda said...

I am from Gain from Downey from Lipton Noodle Soup and Sleepytime tea.

I am from the condo on Sunflower that died a sad slow white trash death after we left, the house on Hayland that had to be shoveled clean, from Klamath Falls Oregon, Shelton Washington, Grace Idaho, Ripley and Stillwater Oklahoma, all over Southern California (I’m from everywhere man)

I am from the olive tree in the front yard that tracked in smashed olives that stained the wood floor; the menagerie of house plants that we always had that held the beasts of the jungle Jennifer and Muffin from the best orange tree ever in our back yard at the Hayland house, from the apricot, pomegranate and plum trees, from warm just picked cherry tomatoes and the mint that took over. From the grapes on the vine in Grandpa Jack’s back yard that were perfect for eating while in the pool and the bottle brush tree in the front yard with all the bees.

I am from Canter’s and or Jan’s on your birthday and cracking your joints even your elbows from Tami and Richard and Laura Canfield and Price that I don’t claim but Wyatt that I would.

I am from the smokers, drinkers, gypsies, nomads, delusionals, victims and liars but was taken in by the band geeks, drum corps marchers, photographers, dog lovers, kitty lovers, vegetarians, world travelers, holiday game players, jeopardy during dinner watchers, attendance lady, scrap bookers, Momos, Aunties and Nanas and Papas.

From “it’ll feel better when it stops hurting” and “Dream on white girl” and “If you want to play grab ass; go outside” from “no dancing in the store” or “no singing at the table”.

I am from fast Sundays without Dad but with Brother Smelly and his testimony…..(something about Disneyland?) and the passage about the white buffalo……?
I'm from Montclair California and from Yucca Valley, El Monte, Baldwin Park, Ohio and Whales and Essex and supposedly Indians too, from tomatoes and avocados.

From Kitties who paint with whiteout all over the walls when no one is looking. From little sisters who ask if you “want to take this outside” and think they’ll turn into Power Rangers if they spin fast enough in the front yard and do not (and don’t say otherwise) cut their hair. I’m the girl who washes red candles in brand new white dishwashers and doesn’t know how the dishwasher could have turned pink.
I am from Nana’s hallway, from the scrap books chronicling almost every aspect of my pre-teen and teen years in my home office and from the old beat up suitcase under the bed that contains the meager remnants of childhood before 12.

12:12 PM  

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