I did this meme when I first started blogging. Hard to believe that was two-thousand Six! Coming up on my third Blog birthday here.
Anyway, I've thought and thought about WHY I am the way I am. Many people call me eclectic - an anathema - a study in contradictions. I'm asked "Why do you do this or act this way after you were raised just the opposite?"
Because I try to learn my lessons. I try to act grown up and responsible. But sometimes...that little three-year-old girl peeks out and wants to play. She tries to be good, she really does! It's just when someone says "NO-NO" she wants to know "But why?" or she yells "Uh-huh! I can SO!"
So here's where I'm from...
I'm from a teeny small town where everyone knows your name and the reputation that goes along with that name. Where you can't escape that reputation no matter how bad you are...or how good you are. Because that's how your family is...and who your family is. You can stand on a mountain top and scream at the top of your lungs "BUT THAT'S NOT ME!!" and no one will hear you - it just floats away on the wind.
I'm from being alone in a crowd of people and never feeling quite like I fit in anywhere. Half a mile to the school and no one on the bus will let me sit with them...even if they are sitting alone. I'm from wearing a dress always because of the church we went to - with services Wednesday nights and twice on Sunday unless you were running a fever or puking. And you had to prove it. No dances - not even a prom. Not smart enough for the honor society, not coordinated enough for the Jocks, not wasted enough for the Stoner crowd, not popular enough for the Cheerleaders.
I'm from making friends with people who were "different"...outcasts like me. The girl with the big buck teeth, the boy with all the pimples, the goofy one who's hair stuck out like a football helmet, the poor boy named Barry whom everyone called a Fairy. Those were the people I hung out with. Because I didn't and don't judge the book by it's cover.
I'm from believing that anyone handicapped was dangerous and scary and that you had to hide from Witnesses who came to the door. I'm from the land where every boy had something wrong with him - too loud, too quiet, too late, too touchy, too smart-mouth. I'm from being grounded for a month for being 30 seconds late and being grounded for three months for making a throw pillow for a friends' van because he gave me a ride to school. And, of course, he was a HE.
I'm from learning to mend, do laundry, cook, clean, preserve, bake, sew and pray. Because that's what good wives do. No one said that even if you do all that and do it perfectly - your husband still may not love you. I'm from Mom loves me, Dad loves me, Just Plain Gramma and Grampa love me no matter what I say, what I do or what I look like. So why won't everyone else in the world?
I'm from Commercial fishing with my father, Packing fish for the fish buyer, Driving pickups, Deer hunting with Dad, wood heat, a house with a cedar shake roof. I'm from sisterly fights, self-loathing, and being overweight. I'm from reading in the dark because I "went to bed to SLEEP, not READ". I'm from sneaking cigarettes at 15 and sneaking alcohol at 17 because I wanted to see what was so "evil" about them.
I'm from foster sisters and brothers, my parents taking in a family of seven for a year when our house had 3 bedrooms. Because those people needed us...it was the right thing to do. I'm from "yes, ma'am" and "yes, sir". I'm from washing all the walls and ceiling of the kitchen for seeing a rated R movie with my cousin at 14.
I'm from playing at my grandparents' houses and extended family get togethers at least once a month on a Sunday after church at my grandparents...Plywood sheet on sawhorses for a table. Kids crawling under the white tablecloth to steal olives from the cut crystal bowl. Auntie's potato salad, Great Gramma's Refrigerator yeast rolls, Plain Gramma's cooked chocolate pudding with the skin on top and homecanned tuna salad on wheat bread with real butter. I'm from my Gramma's hands permanently stained from weeding her one acre garden - fresh peas, baby carrots, corn on the cob, fighting with the deer for the ripe strawberries and snapdragon puppets.
I'm from sneaking cookies by tossing them out the second story kitchen window to my sister waiting below. I'm from dissecting slugs, rescuing starlings that had been shot, mixing eight different vitamin tablets and watching it eat through plastic, fried SPAM in Top Ramen, eating potatoes and fish because that's all we had. I'm from homemade birthday cakes and popcorn for dinner on Sunday nights cuz we had a big lunch after church. I'm from eating at the table and doing dishes by hand. And hating it.
I'm from old cars, a family dog named Ralph, QUIET during Lawrence Welk and the nightly news. I'm from wishing I could grow up faster, wishing I could slow down time, and wishing I could now go back and enjoy the time I had.