I am from plastic pools in the yard in the summer, wooden sleds down the hill in winter; from RC and Fresca, Chef Boyardee and Lucky Charms; from Barbie dolls and transistor radios.
I am from the house with the big yard and the deck I helped my father build; from the pool table in the basement and the beautiful white bedroom suite. I am from the soft spring breezes and the colorful autumn leaves; from the majestic Ohio River and the gently rolling hills.
I am from the tobacco crops and the fields of green beans; from the potatoes and the tomatoes; from the corn and the cucumbers. I am from the trees I climbed fearlessly, and the swing set where I practiced my acrobatics; from the "hole" where we played with Matchbox cars and the futures we created in our imaginations.
I am from family reunions every year and Sunday afternoons at Granny's; from cousins who were my best friends and playmates, and scary movie marathons on New Year's Eve. I am from Danners and Johnsons, from Wards and Lamberts.
I am from hard workers who gardened and canned, from frugal people who haggled and bargained shopped. I am from patriots who served their country proudly, from moral, ethical people who held to their standards in the face of every temptation.
I am from Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, from the Tooth Fairy and the bogey man. I am from trick or treating for hours, and getting popcorn balls, apples, and even apple cider and donuts from the neighbors. I am from bedtime stories and weekly trips to the library, from valuing education and all types of learning.
I am from church every Sunday, whether you wanted to go or not, from Vacation Bible School and children's choir. I am from youth group and play practice, from confirmation and church camp, from doubt to faith and back again.
I am from Gallipolis, Ohio, but I'm also from Germany, England, Ireland and Scotland. I am from George Washington's brother, and from Queen Elizabeth I's aunt. I am from meatloaf and mashed potatoes, from apple butter and from bread and butter pickles. I am from country gravy and biscuits, from sweet tea that's nearly syrup.
I am from the River Recreation Festival and the Gallia County Fair. I am from the home of Bob Evans and O.O. McIntire. I am from the town of the French Five Hundred, where Lafayette once stayed at the Our House Tavern.. I am from watching the Delta Queen move peacefully down the river, from barges heaped with coal.
I am from two people who married just two months after their first meeting. I am from hard-working country folks who married as teens. I am from equally hard-working "city" folk who married in their early twenties.
I am from pictures in a photo album, from black and white and from color. I am from Christmases and birthdays, from graduations and vacations. I am from putting on my new dress just to have my picture taken on the front porch. I am from slumber parties and birthday cakes, from football games and band contests.
I am from six years as an only child, and from being a big sister to my younger brother. I am from a happy family of four, and from a "broken home." I am from stepparents and stepsiblings, and ever changing family relationships.
I am from failed marriages and finding true love, from a son, two daughters and a young grandson. I am from teaching and writing, from trying to figure out just who I am.
I am from everything that has ever existed.