Where I’m From

I am from a gravel road that leads to the mountain, from the falling down mailbox, from Mayfield ice cream and macaroni and tomatoes.

I am from the house full of kids…loud, noisy, messy, and fun.

I am from the blackberry bushes and yellow jacket nests, the creek in the woods where we played and splashed and lived a thousand kid adventures.

I am from potlucks at Christmas and losing their temper, from Mamaws and Papaws and Mom and Dad. From shirtless boys with buzzed hair and bare feet.

I am from the shortest in the class and crooked teeth and freckles. Campfires and bluegill. Spankings and tears. From sucking my thumb will make it fall off and coffee will stunt my growth.

I am from washed in the blood Baptists. From Wednesday night services, week-long revivals, and Sunday School. From “Jesus Loves Me”, stolen money in the offering plate, turn around and stand up straight.

I’m from the woods of East Tennessee, boiled okra and watermelon with salt. From the man who prayed for a wife who could cook. A baker’s dozen of kids, and a ring for a heifer.

From hand-me-down clothes, broken bones, and crawdads. From fishing in papaw’s pond in clothes made by my mom. No air conditioning and crickets at night. From creepy mouse up my leg, bluegrass, and rummy.

I am from photos in an album, by Papaw’s chair, stained with tears. Young brides and marriages that last. I am from veterans, and coal miners. Black coffee and Copenhagen. From barbed wire fences, skinned knees, and trust in the Lord.