I am from the house across from the vacant lot where the big boys played baseball,
from Tonsiline, Maxwell House Coffee, and 1955 Ford station wagon with fins,
and from long walks to Shady Run swimming pool.
I am from the home where a dozen inner city high school kids stay over-night on their way to Chicago… boys sleeping in the sun room; girls, in the dining room
from hot water radiators adding to the human warmth of the house,
from the aroma of coffee perking, first thing in the morning.
I am from the snowball tree with Christmas lights,
from dandelions and weeping willows,
from an enclosed patio room behind the garage and a gas grill outside the door.
I am from “International Russell Day” and “International Cheryl Day,”
from driving to Michigan after dark,
from Brenners and Deeters and Miedings and Smiths
from Barthels (as surname) and Barthels (as given names).
I am from the “you can do anything you set your mind to…”
from “always give it your best…”
from “I can trust you…”
and from “I love you.”
My deep roots are from Evangelische Kirche (in Baden),
more recently from Congregationalist and Presbyterian…
from a Presbyterian seminary leading to ordination as minister of word and sacrament,
I am from Adelshofen, Baden,
from Youngstown, Ohio,
from New Jersey, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota,
from bean soup (yecchh!) and rinkum-ditty (yummmm!) but, most of all,
from lots of corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes, and creamy cucumbers.
I’m from a family of stronger women and weaker men (or so I thought)
from a Dad who could have been the poster boy for “still waters run deep,”
from a Mom who accomplished more in the last 30 years of her life (and is still going at 95) than most of us have in our first 60 or 70 years
I am from more mementos located in the heart, than in the hardware…
from more openness and possibility that is ahead, than from collectibles from the past,
from a lifetime of experiences that can only be described (in the words of the Mastercard commercials) as “priceless.”
I am from Stardust and Pecan Sandies and the power of Niagara Falls…
I am from the fossil skeleton of Lucy, from the Way of Jesus, from the wisdom of Einstein…
I am from the heart of the cosmos and the soul of Don and Garnet…
And I am standing next to you my sister, my brother.
Great fun! Thanks, Randy. I think I will ask the rest of the family to give it a whirl!