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I’ve been doing a lot of blog surfing lately.  It lead me to Galit which lead me to Mama Kat’s and the writing exercise I found there.  I love writing and I wish I had more time and focus for it.  Hopefully in the coming year I will be able to make it more of a priority.  Since I loved the prompt, I copied the template and worked on it . . . and worked on it . . . and worked on it some more.  I’m happy with how it turned out.  I’d say it’s a good start.

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I am from coffee served black and coffee made blonde and sweet; the sugar granules sticky on the countertop, spoon left out to stir the next cup.  From handmade quilts draped over my mother’s lap all winter as her slender fingers stitched intricate designs into the fabric.

I am from the house perpetually in need of work, where the kitchen had no cabinets and floors of particle board where race cars could (and did) zoom on their own. From the house with books piled high next to the couch, the television dusty.  I am from the sandstone colored home with chipped chocolate trim and a welcoming wreath on the front door.

I am from marigolds in whiskey buckets kept alive long after Mother’s day, their golden yellow and orange staining my fingertips as I plucked off the dead buds.

I am from Anchors Aweigh and pale, freckled skin.  From Marilyn and Jean and Nancy. Women with fingers knotted from working knitting needles and braiding heavy wool rugs.  From a woman ahead of her time, teaching herself Lamaze from a record, and a woman slight in frame yet filled deep with strength. Reme, Nana, and Grammy.

I am from loving unconditionally and honest conversations.

From “family comes first” and “bless your heart.”

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I am from Christmas Pfaltzgraff and every year a new ornament to decorate the tree. From a homemade advent calendar that never failed to cause an argument over who got to put up Santa. I am from the mikveh’s waters, supported by my family, celebrated with food. I am from traditions that are built and carried in the heart.

I’m from Ireland and New Hampshire.  From crepes that taste best when made after a sleepover at 5 Hemlock Spring road and from apricot brandy cake served yearly to dark-haired cousins with rosy cheeks at wintery birthday parties. From terrorizing the town on our bicycles that led us to ice cream at the Appleseed.

From the sister who danced across the stage in mismatched socks and combat boots like no one was watching even when everyone was.  From the man who dropped out of high school to fight in the war, leaving his home and “his girl” for three years.  The man who returned home to be the oldest in his graduating class and to marry the woman who waited for him.

I am from under the chuppah and “I love you more” and building our home together.  From loving someone for their core, instantly.

I am from shoe boxes full of pictures with impeccably neat handwriting detailing the who, what, where, and when.  From pauses and deep breaths as memories come alive every time the photos are looked at. From sepia toned photos falling out of a book, carefully put together 60 years earlier, locked in a trunk, nestled against faded uniforms and old coins all saved for someday.

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