I am from the “big yellow house,” with intricate woodwork, Santa hanging from the front porch, and fireplaces alive with crackling embers.
I am from the fragrant gardenias and tasty honeysuckle, the peaceful fireflies and pesky mosquitoes.
I am from Wards and Owens, Ottie and Grand Merle – storyteller and gardener, Spaghetti maker and Oatmeal Crème Pie giver. Teacher.
I am from stature, grocers, Hog fans, volunteers, and friends.
From the parents who walked 3 miles uphill in the snow – barefoot and the relatives who offered wooden ice cream bars to innocent children [read: me].
I am from hearty Thanksgiving meals after raking leaves in toboggan caps and indelible family karaoke nights.
I am from faithful Methodists, from a sanctuary illuminated by stained glass, the kneeling pads sewn by my grandmother.
I’m from the South, great grand-daughter of Curtis. From Old Mike, El Spotro, Curley Wolves, and county fairs. From fried chicken and banana pudding.
From women who sew, smock, tat, needlepoint, and crochet, from a Vietnam veteran.
I am from white-bordered photographs, stored in boxes, yellowed with age. The crunch of tires on a dirt driveway and the snap of tree limbs breaking under ice. A daughter shaped by her small southern town and the food she ate.