Where I’m from.

I am from postcards and scarves, from Polly Pockets and Keds shoes.

I am from the little town in the suburbs of Seattle, where there is my little blue house with white trim, and the big maple tree in the backyard where we would climb as kids and pretend to be cowboys and Indians.

I am from the cherry trees, forget-me-nots, and running through the sprinkler on a hot summer day in the cool, summery grass.

I am from years of memories at Christmas tree farms and Chinese dinners on Christmas Eve. I am from big German noses and brown hair; from Woodwards and Borcherdts and the step grandfather who was always my own grandpa.

I am from belly-aching laughter and striking up conversation with strangers.

From snow days with my best friends, from sledding and snowmen and hot chocolate by the fire. I am from summers at Lincoln Rock State Park and sleeping under the stars that were more than I could comprehend.

I’m from the great city of Seattle because of the day my great grandparents decided to leave Germany.

I’m from melt-in-your-mouth, right-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies and mouth-watering blackberry cobbler.

From the road trips to Salem, Oregon to see my aunt and uncle, and waking up to the aroma of Uncle Tom’s breakfast, and playing with their dogs, Luke and Chase and Gabe. From drinking tea on the leather sofas while we sat and talked because our lives were never uninteresting to them.

I am from a half dozen albums of photos of camping trips and birthday parties, childish imagination and ballet recitals; from my grandmother’s antiques, memories from a woman who no longer lives; from my mother’s teapot and dish collections, memories from her childhood to mine; from memories that weren’t saved on a hard drive or a memory card, but in mementos I kept in a shoe box, trinkets from my youth that I couldn’t let go.

I am. And this is where I’m from.

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