#SOL18: March 5

Because this is my 550th post and I have a special love for “55”, I decided to be brave (last year’s #OLW) and try another new format today. Inspiration for this post came from Lisa Keeler here.

I COME FROM

I come from Orange Avenue, a rock road,

that now has a fancy address

so E911 operators can locate and dispatch assistance or help,

a mile long stretch with four houses

which we left to ride a bus to school.

I come from parents as the third child of seven

born on Father’s Day, and ever my Father’s favorite,

a father who served during the Korean Conflict and

parents who believed in family, faith, and responsibility.

I come from vacations as a family,

where we visited cousins or Army buddies across the country,

with 4 am starts and travel in pjs,

experts at free and low cost entertainment.

I come from a love of learning,

from a father who graduated from high school and

a mother who wanted to attend college but didn’t have the money.

I come from escaping into books and reading by the evening light

in order to find some peace and quiet.

I come from a family of teachers,

learning how to treat others at my grandmother’s knee.

I come from farmers and workers who speak plainly

and know the difference between silos and grain bins and

the value of stories repeated and shared.

Screenshot 2018-03-04 at 6.55.04 PM.png

“Outlaws”                                                     “Aunts & Uncles

I come from red-headed ancestors and outspoken aunts and uncles

who worked on labor issues with Bobby Kennedy

and many national church issues.

I come from a place where

family matters, where traditions are respected, celebrations rule.

and stories are told with quilts and pictures at family events.

“I come from Iowa

the Heartland of America.”

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Crocheted hearts made by my mother now in multiple states and countries!




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this daily forum each March. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

slice of life 2016early morning slicer




How do you celebrate “Where you come from?”

23 responses

  1. The “I am From” poem is a great way to get to know you! Your line, “4am starts and travel in pjs” brought me right back to my own childhood. I can tell how important family is to you from your slice today. I loved it!

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! I’m thinking about how this poem plus a picture could be part of a family writing night. Maybe one station . . .

      1. This is a great idea, Fran! I have to make a note, because I’ve been intrigued about how I might incorporate more writing into my Family Literacy Night in the fall. Last fall, I asked students and parents to brainstorm an event they both remembered (well enough), and each of them wrote the event from their perspective. Made for fun and interesting sharing! But I like the idea of having writing stations that we could rotate through! Love your “I Am From” poem, by the way! My favorite line: “learning how to treat others at my grandmother’s knee.”

      2. Lanny, I’m so totally into voice and choice. We have used a “selfie” station in the past and used it for acrostic name poems. It has always been a favorite as well. I value the narrative but also like other choices as well.

      3. Love that idea too! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Fran, I love the “I Come From” format. It’s a great way to introduce yourself and also a great way to get kids writing too! I like how you emphasized aspects of your family life growing up: the school bus rides, the trips in pj’s, the hard-working farm life, the time spent on civic service. Thank you for sharing this with us today.

    1. You are welcome, Diane! So much to say about the influences of a LARGE farm family!

  3. Sally Donnelly | Reply

    Love the format! YOU kept me going this weekend and I gave you a shout out in my post. Be sure to check it out!

    1. Sally, I enjoyed your post and your problem-solving path! YAY, YOU! Way to organize your posts!

  4. Knowing where we come from is so important because that is what makes us the kind of person we are today. Many times we don ‘t realize how our past influences our present until we take a close look.

    1. Agreed! We are so totally a product of our background and experiences. Sometimes this knowledge also makes us a bit more predictable!!

  5. I like this format. it allows to bring out what matters to the writer. it is interesting to read. I liked finding out more about you.

    1. So true! Prioritizing what to include and how to squeeze in just one more fact or idea is a challenge!

  6. “Where I’m From” is such a great idea-starter. Also, I feel like I know you now!

    1. Thanks, Beth! It’s another fun format to use!

  7. Beautiful, Fran! You shared first, so I’ll follow your lead.

    “Where I’m From” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=on0cCxKStp4

    1. Andy,
      That was fabulous. Okay! More pictures and music. What fun!

      Thanks you so much for sharing!

  8. I have to say–the Where I Come From slices are so powerful because of how carefully you work to choose just the right description/image/memory. I love reading about your memories and experiencing your priorities through them. What really matters to you shines and pulses through.

    1. Thanks, Melanie! I felt like this could have been a chapter book!!!

  9. I just love this so much, especially as a fellow Iowan! I have tucked this format away for later. Thank you for sharing!

    1. You are welcome, Kendra. I hope you can make it work! ❤

  10. Love this, Fran. You have a rich heritage. I’m saving the format. I think it would be a winner with students.

    1. Thanks, Alice. I think it has many uses to classroom writing!

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