Where I’m From

I’m from the smallest state in the country, the town with the oldest Fourth of July Parade.  Del’s Lemonade, Gramma’s doughboys, and Rod’s Grill.

I’m from a large family – the oldest of six – a sister and four brothers came after me.  Burned brownies delivered our first pet – a black cat – but not until the college years.

I’m from going to church every Sunday.  Having grandmothers come for dinner.  Sometimes, the girls would go shopping before we all had to get ready for the week.

“I called front” is what I remember saying as we all packed into the Dodge Caravan to go anywhere together.

I’m from chlorinated pools racing the 50 Free and 100 Back countless times, breaking only for a short time in August before starting a new season.

I’m from Second Beach, baking in the sun, making poured sandcastles, riding the waves on boogie boards. Playing hide and seek as people went home and the beach thinned.

I’m from Prudence Island where time slowed and life was simple.  Muffler-less cars traveled the island.  Rope bracelets to show tan lines by summer’s end.  Layered rock houses, Matchbox cars, and reading by day.  Capture the Flag and Beverly Hills 90210 by night.

I’m from condos in North Conway that we won at the St. Phil’s Auction.  Storyland, Santa’s Village, Clark’s Trading Post, Echo Lake, and Jackson Falls were annual items in the family bucket list.  Sticker collections multiplied after visiting Elizabeth’s.

I’m from Jade Tree – my first job – the hostess with the mostest.  Greeting guests and seating them all night long. Eating special staff meals.  Folding napkins into hats.

I’m from learning how to drive in a Ford Tempo.  No denying that family life started to change as responsibility increased.

Fleeting moments, wistfully remembered.  The simpler days beckon to me and I want to return.  Relinquish the responsibility.

I’m from sharing memories with a deeper appreciation for all that my family provided.

With love.

 

 

 

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10 thoughts on “Where I’m From

  1. You are very welcome! I’m going to see what my Ss can cook up with this assignment. It’s a great stand alone workshop idea since our week is a little off due to end of year activities and early release!

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  2. YES! This is a wonderful piece!
    I love this line:
    “Fleeting moments, wistfully remembered. The simpler days beckon to me and I want to return. Relinquish the responsibility.” I can really relate to this line. That yearning for the freedom of the past is pretty intense sometimes, isn’t it?
    Coincidentally, I just returned from my first trip to your beautiful state! I wrote this on my way home: “This small town in Rhode Island is tucked neatly between the cold ocean water and the lush green of these New England forests. Old colonials with splintered siding, that speak in whispers to the salt air and harsh winters” Where you are from=amazing!

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  3. Great piece of writing that shares much of your life. I had to laugh at “I call front,” since I am from a family of five kids, so the front was the best seat in the car.

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  4. I was intrigued by the Brown Girl Dreaming hint. I really like how you’ve used this format and brought it to life in such a personal and sensory way. I can hear the sounds, imagine some of the places so well.

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    • Thank you! I joined the #BookLove Summer Book Club and our first book is BGD. The first post had to do w/Woodson’s opening poem about being born. We were tasked to read a Where I’m From poem and create/post our own! Great way to start a memoir unit!

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  5. At a literacy retreat, I just attended we worked with the original poem and then favorite lines were gathered and then made into a “class” where I am from poem. It was amazing and so fresh.

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    • What a wonderful idea! I had read about this somewhere and will definitely make a note to consider adding it to the lesson. Such a great way to get to know new Ss at start of year, but also did it in spring w/my 4th grade class last year and it was equally effective to see their growth as writers. Thanks for reading!

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