I Am Template

Fill in the blanks with your personal descriptives. My example follows the template:

I am from _______ (specific ordinary item), from _______ (product name) and _______.

I am from the _______ (home description... adjective, adjective, sensory detail).

I am from the _______ (plant, flower, natural item), the _______ (plant, flower, natural detail)

I am from _______ (family tradition) and _______ (family trait), from _______ (name of family member) and _______ (another family name) and _______ (family name).

I am from the _______ (description of family tendency) and _______ (another one).
From _______ (something you were told as a child) and _______ (another).

I am from (representation of religion, or lack of it). Further description.

I'm from _______ (place of birth and family ancestry), _______ (two food items representing your family).

From the _______ (specific family story about a specific person and detail), the _______ (another detail, and the _______ (another detail about another family member).

I am from _______ (location of family pictures, mementos, archives and several more lines indicating their worth).


I am from Singer, from Butterick, and from bolts of fabric with spools of coordinating thread, bias tape, and 9-inch zippers. My mother sewed all of my clothes because they were cheaper than store bought. It was also a source of pride because the dresses and jumpers and skirts and pants were well made. She always said, “there’s a big difference between homemade and handmade, and your clothes are handmade.” They were quality.

I am from 17th Street and ranch houses with one-car garages attached at the sides. Our lots were freckled with crabgrass but were always trimmed close and tidy, and our yards were full of full-grown trees, the kind you could climb and swing from and hide things in when you needed a secret place to stash your treasures.

I am from the petunias that were brought home by the flat and planted in the flower beds that were sectioned off with old rail road ties. And I am from the redbud tree that bloomed in the spring in a way that made our yard look like something more than a quarter acre on a blue-collar street, like something more than the gravel driveway would lead you to expect.

I am from singing old gospel tunes around the piano in four-part harmony (I am an alto), and dice games on Sunday night when we bet with a jar full of pennies. And I am from Guiles Onie and Ruth Ola who gave the family Rook. “We’re set for sure.”

I am from deep-fried shrimp (pronounced “srimp”) and oysters every summer, and inviting the Southern folk over to share. The house smelled like hot oil and fried batter for days, and I would sniff the sleeve of my shirt to make sure I didn't smell, too.

I am from fear of the unknown and unusual, and from mistrust of the one who signs the paycheck.

I am from the First Baptist Church, where we claimed our own pew in the back on the right side. It was where we were baptized and where we sang and where we wished we went somewhere else for church. It was where our father’s initials were carved in the basement cement because he helped to pour the foundation.

I am from the American South and from fried corn and fried okra and fried chicken and sweet tea. My sisters were from squirrel, but I am from government cheese.

I am from a mother who passed a typing test and was invited to work in Washington D.C. as a secretary. She stayed home in Alabama instead because “I honored my father and mother. Not like it is today.” And she regretted it for years and years and years. I am from a father who fought extra-long in WW2 and drove a tank in North Africa. He made it back home to the States because his number came up while he was stationed in Tunisia. Kind of like winning the lottery only better.

I am from my mother’s cedar chest that stands at the foot of her bed. It’s a treasure trove full of old pictures and autographs and broken eye glasses. It’s full of a scratchy gray and maroon blanket I used to touch when I was a kid, and I wondered why anyone would knit something out of yarn so uncomfortable. And it's full of baby shoes and pink beaded hospital bracelets because I was born a girl.