I am from chenille bedspreads, from avocado-colored appliances and black and white TV. From bell bottom pants and monogrammed sweaters, chinos and cuffed red-tagged Levi’s.
I am from the tiny ranch to the largish garrison, with an unfinished upstairs, making it smaller than the ranch we upgraded from. From a sand strewn yard which was as fun as any grass, trees to climb and yearning for a treehouse that was never to be.
I am from the wild daisies dotting the edge of that sand-lawn like a weed, the lilac bush planted by the back steps later on and polliwogs and salamanders every spring. From forsythia bushes and blueberry bushes and composting in the garden.
I am from exploring the swamp, and burying my nose in a book and hopscotch and Chinese jump rope and four square and Jacob’s ladder and dodge ball.
I am from Christmas Eve noshing, campfire s’mores, Dad’s apple pie, meatloaf and noodles, and the frugality born of tough times from Marjorie and Alma and Cornelius.
I am from the long lived mothers and grandmothers, and the fathers and grandfathers who died too soon.
From “Let’s check the dictionary” every time I asked what a word meant, and how that helped me be resourceful, from thinking I can be anything I want to be and living both the curse and finally the reward of being born a Red Sox fan.
I’m from the birthplace of the United States, and Scotland and England and Ireland and Newfoundland, Canada, and Ring Dings and Devil Dogs, “Favorite Chicken”, frappes when home sick with a cold and popcorn on Friday nights.
From summers at the cottage until it was torn down, spending days hunting hermit crabs and horseshoe crabs, chasing sandpipers and dodging seagulls. From sleeping in smoky clothes in a musty tent, and long sleepy walks to the bathroom in the chill of the morning.
I am from the not-so-secret closet my cousins and I spent hours playing in at Gram’s and the online albums uploaded by me all these years later, something we cousins never could have conceived of.