Jan 15, 2009

I am...

In 2004 my sister took a seminar called, "The Writing Project," in which she was given several ideas to help give children experience writing and inspire new ideas in that endeavor. This was one of them... We both practiced on them, for... well for "practice" since we both like to write.

This assignment is to write an essay based on "I am." (Boring Alert!!! Sorry about the length... When she saw it, she said, "Wow, it's sooo long Jo.")

July 29, 2004

I Am

I am from a small dusty house with dirt in the corners, raggedy rugs on the floors and dirty dishes in the sink. I am from a long dusty driveway where we parked our old cars. I am from a red naugahyde couch, an apple green kitchen table and a black cat we rescued from the vet. I am from a swamp cooler that once caught our wall on fire and a gas heater that killed our goldfish. There was a back porch where my brother slept; a dining room where my sister had her room; a bedroom I shared with my mom; and my Dad shared his room with his thoughts.

I am from a yard with tall grass and weedy flower beds. I am from dead roses on bushes and overgrown on vines on the wire fence that outlined our yard. I am from irises and hollyhocks and daffodils. I am from grapevines and purple grapes my mom picked to make jam. I am from an overgrown dry garden plot in our backyard. We had Mimosas in the front and a big black walnut tree in the back from which my brother bagged the walnuts to sell at the market. Yard work seemed endless.

I am from an old neighborhood in the middle of town, across from a park where we weren’t allowed to go, next to neighbors we weren’t allowed to play with. Lots of sidewalks led to my school 4 square blocks away and Brodersen’s market, 2 blocks away where I’d sometimes stop after school to spend my milk or ice cream money. I am from long summer vacations spent reading books from the library that I pedaled home on my bike. A bike was freedom.

I am from Dad and Mom, MaRee & Pete. Mom worked hard and Dad hardly worked. I am from Uncle Mc, Uncle Eldon and Uncle Eugene who died before we knew him but we knew he was a genius. I am from my mom’s twin sister Lucille who we never saw. I am from Grandma Gardner who raised her children alone and from Grandma and Grandpa Rose who were farmers. I am from lots of people I didn’t know.

I am from “No, you can’t,” and “Well if everyone jumped off a cliff, would you?” I am from “Just because your friends can, doesn’t mean you can.” I am from “Why would you want to go and do a thing like that?” I am from “If you are sick enough to stay home from church, you are sick enough to be in bed.” I am from “NO.”

I am from cottage cheese and chips; apple, raisin, celery salad; meat loaf and fried potatoes. I am from pork chops and applesauce; I am from Rocky Road ice cream. I am from cinnamon toast and soda crackers with chocolate chips. I am from lettuce wedges and thousand-island dressing. I am from pan-fried trout and TV dinners. I am from Tab and Fresca soda and Hydrox cookies. I am from junk food.

I am from the two bottom drawers in my old dresser at home where I put away my keepsakes. I am from a candy box a boy once gave me where I put all my letters one summer. I am from boxes I packed up from my mom’s house when we cleaned it out after she died. I am from a suitcase of my Mom’s old Navy memories and a box of my dad’s old letters that we found a long time after they died. I am from people who had a lot to say but managed to spend their whole lives not talking.


  1. If I didn't know you I would think you were a terribly sad person. And because I do know you I understand why you're not.

  2. jojo_potato@sbcglobal.net1/15/09, 9:04 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. macebo@hotmail.com1/15/09, 9:06 PM

    You are not a sad person at all... you are a CRAZY PERSON. But I have to admit I too could see and remember all those same things so what does that make me? The "pretty" crazy person.


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