I am from Red Dirt

Last evening I was introduced to a poem - “Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyon. We were offered a template and encouraged to write and share our own version.

I wrote a few things last night but the thoughts have lingered on into today. So, I took some time to rewrite – to add – to polish – to reminisce. It’s funny how emotional it feels…how personal. I added pictures, because they made me smile…because they also represent where I am from.

Last night I so appreciated how well I felt I got to know those who shared. It gave a new appreciation for people and their past. For what makes them the unique person they are today. I hope this affords you an opportunity to get to know me better.

Here’s my version:

I am from Red Dirt and mud between your toes;
From Avon and Coal Mines.

I am from the home above the store,
And the rolling pastures of the dairy farm.

Tabor Homestead

I am from the lilac, the crocus and the dogwood;
From Bluestone and the dam.

I am from laughter around the table;
From determination and drive.

I am from strength and independence.
I am from Emily McKenzie.

gayle & grandma

I am from tradition and innovation;
From October Beans and Snoopy Christmas paper.

I am from summer Church Camp
And Church anytime the doors open.

I am from a field of corn, beans, taters, maters and more.
I am from do it yourself and fix it- don’t throw it away.

I am 6th generation from Scotland.
I am from gravy and biscuits, sweet tea and chocolate pound cake.

I am from adventure, faith and stability.
I am from Don and Libby.


I am from red bellied tractors and summers of canning.
I’m from do you need it or just want it?

I am from the shadow of the Church;
I am from trains and pick-up trucks.

I am from stories of thrown biscuits, fall fishin’ trips;
And stories of Uncle Arthur’s ultimate sacrifice in WWII.

Wright Mountain, Rock, WV

Wright Mountain, Rock, WV

I am from Rock and beans strung under the cedar.
I am from lemonade on the fourth of July;

I am from singing hymns on road trips;
And carnations on Mother’s Day.

I am from the treehouse in the backyard.
I am from Moredock, Margaret and Elizabeth.

I am hunting dogs ‘ruined’ into great pets.
I am a Camel, Viking and a Buffalo.

I am endless games of baseball, army and tag.
I am loggerheads and Legos.

I am Dianna, Swit and Aunt Gayle.
I am the past. I am the future.

I am just me!

This exercise was made even more poignant because I had just returned from a weekend trip where I visited many of the places and people I am from.

I believe it’s true the quote by Wendell Berry “If you don’t know where you’re from, you’ll have a hard time saying where you’re going.” This exercise was a great way to touch base with your past and perhaps cause you think on your future.

I’d love to hear your versions of Where You’re From….feel free to share them in the comments.

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About Gayle

Gayle is a Social Media Enthusiast and Consultant with Biz Buzz Social Media Marketing; co-owner of Glynne's Soaps; a dalmatian rescuer; genealogist and member of the Daughters of the Revolution (DAR) and of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC); a Cubs Fanatic; hopeful bagpiper; purveyor of positive; and a curious seeker of life.
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8 Responses to I am from Red Dirt

  1. Martha says:

    Love it. I am from some of the same stuff. I am going to have to sit down and do this!

  2. Carol says:

    Loved, loved, loved this blog! I’ve been so wrapped up in the here and now – that I just about forgot about some of the best parts of my life. Thanks for reminding me. Perhaps in time (3 weeks?) I’ll sit and write something.

    • Gayle says:

      Thank you Carol!

      Please come back and share your version when you have time to write. I’d love to read it.

      All the best,

  3. GAil Buckland Evans says:

    So glad you wrote as you did. I grew up a stone’s throw from the McKenzie’s. In the community, Emily always went door-to-door collecting for flowers at the passing of neighbors. Maxine taught me in Bible School and Sunday School. She was so much fun. Libby was known for her jeans and sailor hat. I also remember sweet Emily Ruth. Thanks for taking me to a warm spot.

    • Gayle says:

      Thanks for stopping by my blog!

      My grandmother was without a doubt the toughest and yet most generous person I’ve ever met! Her solo ability to raise three daughters in a time when women just didn’t do that. Her attitude of gratitude and willingness to share whatever she had are traits I hope to emulate.

      As for my mother, I seem to have inherited her affinity for jeans AND hats :)

      All the best,

  4. Martha McDaniel says:

    Gayle, here is my version.

    Where I’m From

    I am from home made popcicles
    From Tide Detergent and Cherrios
    I am from the home on the river
    Built with rocks from that river by my grandfathers hands.
    It tasted like home grown corn and green beans.
    I am from daisies and queen-ann’s lace
    The elm tree in the back yard with branches perfect for climbing
    I’m from Sunday School and early gray hair
    From Grandma and Aunt JoAnn and Uncle Billy
    I’m from lope sided smiles and dark brown hair.
    From “Don’t bite your fingernails” and “go practice your flute”
    I’m from hymns like “It Is Well with My Soul” and Praise songs like “Red is the Color”
    From Church anytime the doors were open.
    I am from Florida, Indian tribes, Black Dutch and military bases.
    I am from brown beans and corn bread.
    From a mom who survived breast cancer and a dad who served his country
    I am from a husband who loves me in spite of my faults.
    I am me and I am loved.

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