Thursday, October 13, 2011

ACROSS THE BACK FENCE – Thursday Thoughts

I’m so glad y’all stopped by the back fence today. I’ve hauled out some bales of straw so there’s plenty of places to sit. Make yourself comfy while I tell you about a challenge I discovered that’s got me excited enough to start my family Christmas gifts early this year. I think you’ll be excited by it, too.

You see, the whole thing started just the other day when I read a poem by George Ella Lyon titled WHERE I’M FROM. That poem got me to wonderin’ about where I’m from. Not physically (that would be mama and daddy), or territorially, (that would be Texas, among other states), but the heart and soul of times and events that made up the whole enchilada of where I’m from. What were the events, big and small, that impressed me deeply enough to become part of where I’m from? And why did some things take root there, while others didn’t?
Good question. I need to find the answer.

I’m in my seventieth decade of life’s journey, and have no intention of quitting yet, so I’m going for it. After all, my bucket list’s been around for a long time, and I’ve already crossed off most of the things I never thought I could do. I don’t want to run out of challenges. I have one more item to add to my bucket list.

I wanted to find out where I’m from, too, so I've started my very own Where I’m From spiral notebook. Now, we all know something like this can’t be accomplished in a day. I’ve slowed down some lately, but I haven’t lost my tortoise-like persistence. I’ll get there eventually, but I need plenty of time to ponder; to haul out old memories and revisit both the crazy fun times of youth and the bittersweet moments of growing up; to remember those special days and give thanks for the people and places where I’m from. But I intend to finish it in time for Christmas.

You see, for the past couple Christmases, I’ve tried to give our children and grandchildren something special from the family tree. I think it’s important to pass things down from generation to generation, don’t you? Something besides bad health genes and bad habits. Last year, it was a replica of the three-tined Granny fork that my mama taught me to cook with, along with a very old, handwritten recipe card from my own mama’s wooden recipe box, and a key ring charm from a piece of our wedding silver. As the Grand and Great-Grandparents, we recorded The Night Before Christmas for the little ones,(and some of the older ones that asked, too) so they can always hear us read to them long after we’re gone. This year, my notebook about Where I’m From will likely be under their trees, waiting for them to learn where I’m from.

Now for the exciting challenge I promised to tell you about. I
f you check out this writer/teacher’s website and read her poem, you’ll understand what I’ve been talkin’ about. And by the way, I hear spiral notebooks are on sale somewhere in your town, if you’re suddenly inclined to find out where you’re from.

My thanks to A GOOD BLOG IS HARD TO FIND for leading me to this website and the incredible George Ella Lyon.


  1. Hi Loralee...I love the spiral notebook idea. I have always thought about writing a note to each of my children and sharing stories of my thoughts and experiences that I had with each one of them, throughout my pregnancy and when they were babies. You are inspiring me to do that.

    I also love your idea of reading The Night Before Christmas while recording. What a treasure that'll be.

    Terrific blog today, thanks for sharing :)

  2. Well, I posted earlier and now it's gone, so I'll try again.
    Christine, thanks for being the first to comment on my notebook project. I'm still excited about discovering where I'm from. Do you have your notebook ready?

  3. I love this idea, Loralee! Read the poem, it was beautiful and inspiring. I have many empty notebooks lying around and you've given me something to do with them :) Wonderful post!

  4. Jennifer, I'm so glad you found the poem inspiring. Her website has so many wonderful thoughts on writing. Get your notebook and start your own, then let me know how it turns out.