Saturday, September 25, 2010

Where I'm from.

This post is inspired by the blog the red dress club, which asks, "Where are you from?" Check it out for inspiration, and to read what the many talented bloggers had to say for this writing challenge.

After all, if you don't know where you're from, how do you know where you're going?

Where I'm From

I am from the Motor City. From a city that gets beaten down time and again, yet continues to get back up, proud, strong and resilient.

I am from a red brick colonial on a large lot on a tree-lined street. From a house that stands dignified, 80 years young. From a house that still lives and breathes, full of the memory of six little girls, now all grown and gone. From a house full of the memories of laughter, love, heartbreak, gossiping, bickering, crying, playing, learning, living life to the fullest.

I am from, "always act like a lady, and you will be treated like one", and realizing my mother was right about this gem.

I am from Catholic schools with plaid jumpers and mary jane shoes, tucked-in shirts and socks pulled up to the proper height. From prayers in the morning and crucifixes in the classroom. From discipline and ritual.

I am from Sunday mass. From the knowledge that wherever I go on the world, the customs and traditions of my faith remain the same. From solemn prayers and familiar psalms.

I am from the ritual of family dinner, and making sure my children have the same. From a large, oval, "distressed" maple table, now beautifully distressed from years of use. From a table that has real dings and dents, courtesy of children learning to use utensils. From family recaps of our daily "high/low". From homemade meals that took hours to prepare. From fast food that took minutes to buy. From pizza night. From crying over spilled milk.

I am from Christmas traditions. From Christmas Eve mass. From the Polish Wigilia dinner of breaded fish, white potatoes, and butter-fried, cheese-filled pierogi. From setting an extra place at the table for the Baby Jesus.

I am from believing that love does conquer all. From feeling blessed that the boy that I fell in love with at 17 is the man I now call my husband.

I am from a loud home. From a home that makes no excuses for the mess and the chaos of four children.

I am from what you see is what you get. From striving to be authentic.

I am from capturing the moments of life that are to be treasured. From blogging and writing. From writing letters to my children on birthdays. From photographing the small moments. From soaking up this point in time. From being painfully aware that too soon, it will all just be memories.

I am from family is everything, even when the bonds that tie us together strain and threaten to pull us apart. From loving my family and friends fiercely and loyally. From never throwing away the relationships that really matter.

I am from trying to remain in the positive, even when the inner-complainer threatens to overtake my spirit.

I am from accepting who I am, yet continually asking for more of myself. I am from taking on new challenges.

I am from love is what it's all about.

Where are you from?


  1. I didn't know you were Polish. Did you know that I finished writing a children's book about Wigilia? It will be out in October:

  2. Yes I am! Polish and proud! Great news about your book - I'll have to check it out! Wigilia is such a special tradition. My kids finally figured out recently that not everyone just the same rituals on Christmas Eve. They do love a good pierogi... :)

  3. Clare...this is absolutely beautiful.
    I cannot even begin to tell you how much I wanted to walk through your childhood home, to see and hear those six little girls.

    You brought tears to my eyes with this line: "From being painfully aware that too soon, it will all just be memories." This is something that I think about every single day.

    Truly a lovely piece. Amazing job.

  4. I love the description of that table. Just adore it. Every family should be so lucky to have a piece of furniture that is so, so much more than a piece of furniture.

  5. Clare this is beautiful!
    I share in your polish tradition as well. My mother (Elizabeth) is "Right off the boat" from Poland. Ironically, she came over at the age of 7 on the Queen Elizabeth. We continue to pass on the many polish traditions. My parents still live in the home I grew up in.
    I will be keeping my eyes open for that book as well!!

  6. I love the imagery of a well-worn, well-loved table. If only that table could talk! Wonderful job on this.

  7. Clare, this is a wonderful post....really captures the essence of being from a great family with proud traditions, and putting first things first. Our world goes so fast, but I think the traditions and values we pass on to our kids will never go out of style. And how has my muffin top NEVER enjoyed a pierogi?? I remember friends from UD talking about them. YOu had me at melted cheese. Sigh....Boston needs to get its act together and get summa that good Polish stuff.

  8. Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments! They touched my heart!

    Danielle - Polish Christmas traditions are so special, aren't they?

    And Muffintopmommy - You haven't lived until you've had a proper pierogi.'s too bad we only usually make them and eat them at holidays. I could go for one right now, for breakfast.

  9. Clare- I love this post. I did something similar for myself. I never think about telling you how much I love reading your blog, but you do a great job with it!


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