I am from a house full of ideas and soccer cleats, dress-up tule and scraps of paper strewn across the floor, from paintings by children framed in wood, from stacks of treasured and unfinished books. I am from color’s embrace red, turquoise, orange and spring green, from the 109-year-old home with the crumbling porch and a peeling rocker six blocks from where Papou played kick the can.

I am from raised beds that are too shady, from lettuce and watercress that bolt and peonies that overflow vases come spring. I am from the monster horse chestnut tree that drops its medieval spiked rounds and thousands of leaves, and I am from the climbing and cradling tree at the Anastasis’ whose long gone limbs I remember as if they were my own.

I am from asking questions to show I care, noticing the signs of spring’s approach, feeling the ache of compassion, from Mami and Papi and Allison Aimee. I’m from creativity and intensity, working hard and worrying, bouts of sadness and messy dramatic, from laughter and arms wrapped tight.

I am from prat falls and self-depracting humor, from homemade dresses and Mozart, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Wonder and smiles at daybreak. I am from “Only boring people get bored” and “If you can’t laugh at yourself, what can you laugh at?” and “You Are My Sunshine,” “The Lord is my shepherd” and “I love you, Golden Face.”

I am from German Apple Pancakes on Christmas morning and scarlet eggs at Easter, from Doctor’s Hospital, green Northwest hills, Bavarian peaks, Scottish highlands and Italian fire, from braided homemade bread and fluffy omelets, tuna noodle casserole and after school Totino’s Party Pizzas with Little House and The Brady Bunch.

I’m from toddler sister’s New Yawk accent, sharing a room and touching feet under the comforter, from a mother’s love of Jersey cows and bareback rides across the farm and of the wildness and freedom that always reminded her who she was. I am from B, the faithful blanket that still sleeps under my pillow.

I am from too many things stuffed in closets, from too many cross-town moves and from regrets transformed into commitments. I am from friends like sisters and sister friends, glass lakes and star holes through fabric skies, from long walks, word love and crinkle-eyed smiles, from tables filled with salads, bread and real butter and from a giant trampoline that made me feel I could fly.

I am from a husband’s love and daughter eyes that remind me what’s true, from a house of people that keeps killing pet fish but doesn’t mean to, from road trippers and wave jumpers and Jesus-lovers who want to live it.

I’m from people who interrupt a lot at dinner and love the best they can and seek to be world changers and dream dreamers and can’t get enough of their cousins and like their smoothies loaded with extra spinach.


I am linking today with SheLoves Magazine‘s synchroblog, I Am From, in which women share their moving, painful and beautiful stories of place and identity. This post was adapted by Levi Romero and inspired by “Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyon. If you’re interested in writing or posting one of your own, which I highly suggest, you can find the template at SheLoves.

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