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I Am From …

I am from creamed tuna on toast, from Red Ball Footwear, and church on Sunday. I am from the little white house by the gully, unadorned, unimpressive, filled with love.

I am from the piney woods, Syringa bush, sunlight on water, the Locust tree; wild, red roses, and mica stones.

I am from homemade noodles and perseverance; from Gram, and Lois, and Charlie; from Jean, Jackie, Caryl and Harold. I am from Aunts and Uncles and cousins and laughter.

I am from forgiveness and acceptance. I am from “try again”, and “don’t give up.” From “don’t swim for at least an hour after eating” and “wet matches won’t strike”.

I am from the little brick, First Christian Church on the corner of Fourth Street and Garden Avenue. From Lake Coeur d’Alene, silver mines and logging camps. I am from fishing streams, crisp clean air, and moose in the front yard. I am from meatloaf on Wednesday, and A&W Sunday; from The Grownups Wanted Us Dead, the school on the edge of the cliff, the farms on Mica Flats, and the strongest, most resilient women God ever forged.

I am from picture frames adorning white walls, albums, closets, trunks, and moldering boxes in my Aunt’s basement. I am from a two-inch thick genealogy manuscript depicting heroes and heels from England, to America and sea to shining sea.


This meme was inspired by Gawpo and my niece, Brooke.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. I just had the strangest coincidence happen. I read this on your site and then started searching for info on my son’s school website. He told me they get out early today, but it was an unexpected thing, so I have no idea what time he’s getting home. I searched the website, but all the calendars are out of date.

    As I searched the high school and middle school sites, I found a list of 8th grade essays titled, “I’m from”. Sure enough, they were the student’s own versions of this poem. I can’t even calculate the odds of stumbling onto this in two separate and completely unrelated places within the same hour.

  2. This is great Quilly! I did it almost a year ago! Here’s the link if you’d like to see mine Where I’m From…

    I love that you’re from “try again” and “don’t give up” and the most resilient women God ever forged! That’s a GREAT place to come from!

  3. Brig — wow. Who I Am must be really popular now. I know the original poem (by the original author) was written several years ago.

    Melli — I’ll be going to check it out, soon!

    Brooke — isn’t it funny that we are from the same family, yet our experiences are so different? I haven’t had creamed tuna (that’s what most of the world calls it) in ages — years. It popped into my mind when I was trying to think of things I associate only with Gram.

    Polona — it was fun to make, too. I spent a lot of time evaluating that which was part of my youth, and still important to me now.

  4. Nessa — doing this was enjoyable, but it wasn’t quick. I had a lot of thoughts and memories to sort through. One more thing — don’t try to strictly adhere to the format. Keep it a little loose, and have fun with who you are.

    Thanks for thinking mine is good — I feel like it is kind of weak compared to everybody else’s. Check out Brooke and Gawpo, below — as well as Melli, who posted her link up above.

  5. Quilly-Sister, I read this on Brookie’s blog this morning, too. I absolutely LOVE them. I think you should both frame yours and keep them. I’m going to do mine and frame it! And before you ask, no, I am not going to put it on a gourd! BTW, I loved Gawpo’s, too!

  6. Jackie — I think by nature they are lovely. It tells so much about how we became who we are. I hope you are going to put yours on your blog.

  7. I’m thinking of writing my own now. I’ve copied the template. I think it will take quite a few days of thinking and remembering to actually get the right combination of memories.

    The more I read yours, the more I like it.

  8. Jay make a white sauce — butter, flour, milk — and stir in a can of tuna. Eat it over toast. Quite tasty. Honest. I fed it to my college roommates. They approached the first bite with extreme caution, then ate the rest like pigs. There is no fishy taste and it’s a very cheap meal.

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