I am from Redwing boots and Levis, from Jones Potato Chips and Smiths' Chip Dip eaten straight from the containers.
I am from the trailer next door, the one in the middle of the horseshoe-shaped driveway where semis stirred up the gravel dust.
I am from the friendly rustle of maple trees and the smell of manure on soybean field.
I am from cheating at euchre on Friday nights, going to Grandma's on Christmas Eve and telling people the way it is.
I am from Fred and Dorothy and Big Bob and Uncle Jim.
I am from ranting and raving and standing up for you and yours, from working hard and baffling them with bullshit.
From "this is not a gymnasium!" and "I am the mom!"
I am from accepting all religions, but turning the dogs on the Jehovah's witnesses who called your children heathens.
I'm from Samaritan Hospital in the world headquarters of nice people, from macaroni salad and the fluffiest scrambled eggs you'll ever eat, topped with Heinz ketchup.
I am from people who chose to take us in despite my mother's dislike of BLT sandwiches, from a bottle of Mad Dog hidden in the inside pocket of my grandpa's Navy peacoat, and from pops sipped through drink stirrers while sitting on barstools at Amvets.
I am from faded pictures tucked inside an old brown album from Big Wheel (or maybe Kmart), from a place small enough to keep memories for you, where my nephews might be taught by my old classmates in the same school district where I was asked, "Now, which of those boys is your dad?"