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Where I am From


Where I am From

People pronounce things a little differently. They take a little more time to get things done and they laugh at people when they see them hurry. There are just as many pick up trucks on the road as there are any other vehicle. If your front lawn is smaller than a football field then it is small. If you don’t have a cow or a horse on it then you live in town.

Where I am from you stick out a little if you aren’t wearing jeans, unless you are in church. Flip-flops are just as impractical as high heels. Tomatoes go with every meal, as does white bread with margarine. Vegetables are normally prepared by cooking them in large quantities of meat stock, particularly that which comes from pork, otherwise they are inedible. Salad contains either potatoes, macaroni or cucumbers, and mayonnaise is a preferred staple to ketchup.

In the winter, weather means cold that freezes to the bone. Snow falls and then it gets just warm enough to turn into a prevalent grey soup that covers everything. It is certain to snow just often enough to keep the landscape looking like this for three months. The summers are sweltering and humid until August comes, just in time to turn every ground cover brown from lack of rainfall. The ground cracks dramatically and sucks up each and every tiny drop of rain. The falls and the springs, though short, are beautiful.

Every old building in town smells like decades stale cigar smoke, and once you get used to it, the smell is actually endearing. The older Catholics and the older Protestants still stick to their own groups. A new riding lawn mower is often more exciting than a new baby. Everyone’s business is everyone’s business. Ice cream follows every meal and a woman who doesn’t know how to bake a pie is considered pretty darn strange. Everyone knows what 4H is, as well as the FFA.

Where I am from, new ideas aren’t introduced very often, and when they are they are still slow to be accepted. Some people are still racist and sexist as well. When someone is sick their front porch fills up with casseroles. People are quick to offer help to a neighbor, because they know that neighbor personally. If you aren’t able to mow the lawn or shovel the driveway someone does it for you. At a funeral most of the attendants shed just as many tears as the immediate family, and every car on the road pulls over to honor a funeral procession.

I don’t live there anymore, and I don’t think that I ever will again. It doesn’t suit me. I try very hard to appreciate the good things about it though. There is a beauty to the way that neighbors treat each other there, as well as a natural beauty that is unsurpassed…even if I am horribly allergic to it. I know that the place will change in time as all things do that are stuck in the past. I can hold the good parts inside of my heart however, and I have plans to share them with the future.  


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1 tsp. vanilla extract




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