I am from bell bottom jeans when they were in fashion the first time, Bonnie Bell lip smacker, and perfecting the side ponytail.
I am from the ranch home near the gravel pit and train tracks where we built forts, chased the trains and smoked my dad’s Kent cigarettes.
I am from the hide and seek games in the cornfields of tornado alley and skipping rocks along rugged the shoreline of Lake Superior.
I am from picnics on a Sunday afternoon and contagious laughter, from St. Marie and Glader and MacKenzie.
I am from private to a fault and stubborn as a mule.
From clean your plate and drink your milk.
I am from a long line of Catholics with whom I couldn’t take communion, kissing my boyfriends under the pews at the more welcoming Methodist church lock-ins, and falling in love with the boy at his Bar Mitzvah.
I am from Duluth and French Canadians, walleye dinners, jello salad, Blue Nun wine on ice and hard work.
From my grandfather working nights on the railroad but still stopping to kiss me before he set out again, visiting my grandmother at the men’s clothing store and helping her fold sweaters, and my mother working part-time and going to school so we could have a better life.
I am from licking the frozen street sign, four on a sled and learning to ice skate. I am from Shaun Cassidy’s DaDoRonRon and staying up late on Saturday nights to watch the Love Boat and Fantasy Island.
I am from 8mm home movies and the first Polaroid instant pictures. From my grandmother’s boxes of saved cards and letters which we found when she died.
I am from simple and nice and living the Golden Rule. I am from love your neighbor and help out a stranger. I am nothing out of the ordinary and perfectly happy living that way.