I am from Melmac dishes and mismatched cutlery for everyday use, from rotary egg-beaters and meat-grinders and CorningWare coffee percolators. I am from fancy China and silverware stored in the red velvet lined chest, gracing the dining room table at Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
|Sister Kari's 6th birthday|
|Built in 1922 this is my childhood home as it looks today. My parents were the last owners of the home before it was sold and turned into a funeral home . . . Clayton Funeral Directors, 582 Front Street, Quesnel, BC|
|Cosmos (photo source)|
I am from prayers at each meal and Sunday afternoon naps and Wednesday night prayer meeting. From sword drills and "Jesus Loves Me" and missionary stories of Sadhu Sundar Singh and Pandita Ramabai. From DVBS and Sunday school picnics and Miss Riley and her handkerchief dollies in church.
I am from five children born to Ray Wallace and Agnes Grace in just four and a half years. From big sister Kari Jane, younger brother Dallas Birk and the babies, twins Martha Lorraine and Mark Leroy. I am from Old Spice and crew cuts. From aprons and spaces between the front teeth. I am from hand-me-down dresses and Singer sewing machines and scratching out the alphabet on each other's back with Kari at bedtime. From soft-serve ice cream and gallon jugs of A&W root beer and the adult-sized three wheeler bike. From the line of kids marching behind Dad as he mowed the lawn.
|Ray Wallace and Agnes Grace, 3 April 1954|
|My Mama, Agnes Grace, with her brood. I am on the left with the big cheesy smile.|
I am from Christmas trees set up December 18th on Mama's birthday, from meticulously hung tinsel and a foil-wrapped cardboard star. From breakfast before presents and old woollen work socks with Japanese oranges and nuts and hard candy.
|Fraternal grandfather Alfred Martinis|
|Maternal grandfather, Lawrence Anton|
|Maternal grandmother Blanche|
|Fraternal grandmother Irma Irene|
I am from city kids and country cousins spending summer vacation on Grandma Bjorklund's farm. From riding the hay wagon, gathering blueberries in old gallon paint cans, and midnight runs to the outhouse. From priming the pump and sulphur smelling water and chickens and cows and a horse named Prince. From wringer washing machine and clamouring over who got to put the curlers in Grandma's hair.
|Cousins Ron and Janet on the horse named Prince|
I am from books and reading late into the night. From weekly trips to the library with my sister for the unread Nancy Drew or Trixie Beldon titles. From Encyclopedia Britannica and Mario Lanza and Johnny Cash. From playing Mousetrap and jacks and pick-up sticks.
I am from "toad in the hole", homemade bread and skim milk powder. From "slumgullion" and "hardtack" and apple crisp, banana bread and chocolaty French cake. From scalloped potatoes and raspberry jam and canned peaches.
I am from Martha Freelove, my great grandmother who with her husband and children left Arkansas for Canada in a covered wagon in 1916. Who along the way went blind at the age of 35 and never saw the new country she was immigrating to, never saw her grandchildren or great grandchildren.
|Great Grandmother Martha Freelove, centre circa |
1882, Arkansas. I have the original of this photo.
|Martha Freelove, Vancouver, BC 1960's|
I am from photos old and letters kept and every birthday card from Great Aunt Nettie stashed away in my treasure box. From stick figure drawings saved by my Mama, from newspaper clippings and certificates and memories triggered by sights and sounds and smells.
|My great, great, great grandparents, Freelove and David Benjamin|
|Grandmother Irma Irene, an accomplished horsewoman.|
|Great grandparents Wyatt Woodruff|
and Laura Dorelia.
I am, Andrea Dawn.
If you would like to write your own "I Am From" story, you can find a template here. It is a very helpful tool to get you started.