Friday, March 25, 2011

where I am from....

It has been said that you have to know where you are from to know where you are going.  I was reminded yesterday that I had once done the 'where I'm from' exercise...and it was still in my files...unshared.   So today I'm telling you where I am from. 

I am from a dairy farm in the country…Ford cars, trucks and tractors…and everything homemade.

I am from the old farmhouse with double porches, dormer windows, creaky stairs and farmhouse smells…from wood-burning stove, wringer washer and long clothelines.

I am from lilacs, rhodos, climbing roses and hummingbirds…from transparent apples, Italian prunes, Royal Anne cherries..from bullrushes in the ditch and blackberries along the fence.

I am from Bill and Helen…who were from John and Susanna and Jacob and Justina…from Faspa on Sundays with Zwieback, Kotletten and Platz.

I am from sleeves too short and shoes too small…from fair skin and blue eyes.

I am from ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’…from ‘hard work never hurt anyone‘.

I am from scary bedtime stories of bears and black widow spiders…which I both loved and loathed.

I am from a Mennonite country church where the men wore suits and the older women wore hats…where the congregation sang in beautiful four-part harmony…and where the words from Psalm 29:2 'O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness’ were posted at the front of the sanctuary. …where the German language was frequently spoken…where families visited in each others homes. I’m from baptisms in the river and Sunday school picnics at a farm…and a rich heritage of faith in God.

I am from German school and polishing shoes on Saturdays…from cinnamon toothpicks and sen-sens…from root beer floats and onion rings…from five cent cones and chocolate bars. I’m from hopscotch, marbles, yo-yo’s , Chinese skipping and tether ball. I’m from playing Red Rover, Prisoner’s Base, Beckon-Beckon, Eevie Ivy Over and 500-Up. I’m from pop-tops and pedal pushers .

I’m from spelling bees and reciting poetry…and competition in the classroom. I’m from climbing trees and building forts and having sleepovers in the hayloft. I’m from recycling before it was vogue…from re-using my lunch bags and wearing hand-me-downs on occasion. I’m from picking berries in the summer and swimming in the slough…and riding my bike wherever it was I wanted to go.

I’m from neighbours lending a hand and sharing a party line. I’m from shopping at Eaton’s Department store and the five-and-dime.

I’m from the heart of the Fraser Valley…from farm fresh milk and famous Chilliwack corn. I’m from a story teller extraordinaire who could fix anything and his best friend and listener who was a wonderful cook and welcomed friends and strangers into her home.

I am from good people…what more could I ask? Where are you from?

Have a wonderful weekend...


  1. What a wonderful post! As I was reading it reminded me of many of the things I am "from"! It has been interesting how (over this past year) a post on someones blog will bring to mind something in my own life that I haven't thought of in a long time. Thanks for sharing your life and the walk down memory lane.

  2. Yeah - I'm from there, too...from listening to hockey games on the radio while milking cows; and spending sunny afternoons searching the pasture for the tie-clip my uncle lost while playing baseball on Sunday afternoon. Thanks, Judy!

  3. Judy, I loved reading your post this morning and identified with so many of your 'where I am from..'
    It sure brought back a lot of memories:)
    Thank you!

  4. Oh this is wonderful Judy. You really did a good job with it. Boy do I remember sen sen growing up...

  5. Judy, this is great! Much of that brings back memories, and makes me want to do my own, for my grandchildren. Dairymary

  6. So incredibly special! These response poems to George Ella Lyons' poem "Where I'm From" always seem to be amazing.

    (I wrote one for my aunt's birthday. She's not a "poetry" person, yet she just loved it.)

  7. I loved this post and might redo this exercise. I did a post a long time ago about where I was from but not in this format of filling in the blankds.
    So much of who you are and who I am coincides and I found myself pulled into your memories as though they were my won.

    Thanks for sharing where you are from.

  8. I love it...and I could ditto all of's where we are FROM that has helped form a relationship of friendships and values.
    Great intro to your background.

  9. This is such a beautiful post Judy! I am so glad you shared it with us. To sum up the beginning of your life in this way is like poetry. Although your upbringing is in some ways very different, it is also very much the same as mine in so many ways. I think wehn we look back our childhoods were not easy but they were wonderful!

    Maybe I'll be brave enough to try this one day :)

  10. What a lovely rich heritage. Hmmm....gets me thinking and remembering - may have to take up the challenge!

  11. This is beautiful, Judy. So evocative of a time that has passed. I've not heard of this exercise but I'm going to look it up.

  12. Beautiful Blast from the Past! And very similar memories...although by the time I came along, the baptismal tank was in the church, so I never had the privilege of going down to the river! And I had forgotten about the cinnamon toothpicks too! And what about your youth group?!! The stories I heard from my older siblings were legendary epic tales of fun and laughter!

  13. Thanks Judy, Lots of good memories. Glad I could share some of the places you are from. Was thinking the other day about the sleepovers in your hay loft. What fun!!

  14. Hi Judy!

    I can't find your email address right now, so I'll leave this here for you:

    Hell’s Gate Airtram - opening day
    Thursday, April 21st, 2011!


  15. I just read another version on another blog! Such a great excercise and beautiful way to remember! I love the things you thought of that I could claim as "where I come from as well."

  16. Loved your post!! Made me smile as I can relate to a few of the things you said.. :) I too have forgotten about cinnamon sticks and sen sen...I remember baptisms at Echo Lake Camp in the lake,,,,and time spent visiting on Sundays,,, Have a great day!!

  17. Although I grew up in a city subdivision 3000 miles to the east, I share so many of your memories. And I'm fortunate to remember a few fun times with you as my parents visited yours whenever we came west. Now as adults we have shared car pools, school events and now a blog and a friendship. What a small world and what a rich heritage we share.

  18. I love your story Judy. It's such a wonderful question and you've given us such a glimpse into your heritage, your family, your childhood and why you are the way you are. Your parents would be so proud to read this post - the values your parents cherished have been passed to you, your children and grandchildren. That's a great tribute to them! Thanks for asking the question - I may work on my story one day soon.

  19. I could just say 'ditto' to all the comments that have already been written, but I have to add to the chorus. This was SO beautiful. What a lovely thing it was to read about some of the things that formed you. I've never before heard of this exercise, and I can't imagine it being done better.
    Your parents did well by you!

  20. That is beautifully written! I could picture you in all of what you described and I don't know anything about you. I have similarities but nothing like your life.

    Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend.

  21. I never met you in person. I have spent two or three years learning to know you via your blog, for which I thank God often for that privilege. But, today I found it so very interesting to learn more about "you" and what all went into making you "you". Thank you so much for sharing you with us. The fact that your dad was a great story teller and your mother a good cook, helps me know why you excel in blogging and cooking. I so enjoyed this post.

  22. Beautiful.....thank you for posting this. I may get around to doing this sometime too!

  23. This is a fantastic way of telling your story! I just loved it! Such wonderful things that make you who you are. Even though this is where you are from, it's all on your hard drive and you're taking it all with you on your journey to where you're going! Blessings! One of these days I might work more on my story of down memory lane!

  24. Really enjoyed this post...took me back to simpler times. A place full of morals, values and family.


  25. wonderful place you are from!
    Fantastic post!!!


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson