Monday, April 12, 2010

Where I Come From

This week's Monday MckLinky question is:

Where do you come from?

I grew up in the country between the little podunk town of Wyandotte where I went to school and the big booming metropolis of Miami. At 18 I moved to Miami. When I married my husband I moved to Wyandotte with him. Then we moved to Miami. Now we're out in the country between Miami and the itty bitty town where our kids go to school.

So uhm.....where do I come from? (Or maybe you'd like to know where I'm going via where I've been.)

My Facebook profile lists Wyandotte as my hometown, but I don't necessarily feel like that was my hometown since I didn't grown up in a town. Sure, I went to school there from Kindergarten until I graduated, but is it my hometown? It's definitely my school. In Wyandotte they say, "Once a Bear, always a Bear," but in Miami they say, "Once a Wardog, always a Wardog." I guess pretty much any town boasts a lifelong committment to their mascot. My kids will always be Owls, I guess. And when they are adults they will probably feel an overwhelming urge to don red and white every Friday just like I still want to wear black and white.

If I had to commit right this very minute to where I consider myself "from" I guess I would have to say: the tiny little Ottawa community out east of Miami.

Mom and my father built our house there when Mom was pregnant with Tater and we moved in a mere week before she was born. I met my best friend, DeLisa, when Mom called her mom and invited her to my 5th birthday party. She lived less than a mile from me. Sis' best friend, Amy Jo, lived just past DeLisa. The four of us grew up together and when we got old enough, kept that road hot. We rode bikes between the three houses usually, but sometimes we walked, we ran or hitched a ride with a neighbor or one of DeLisa or Amy's brothers. Summers were spent down in the river bottom swinging on grapevine and picking flowers. When the weather got Okla-hot we were at each other's houses in the air conditioning, playing Barbies and eventually playing Nintendo, watching MTV or calling boys. We knew everyone that lived on our road and several roads branching further out. We were never scared. We didn't have cell phones to stay in constant touch with our parents, we just showed up at someone's house to eat around noon. Sleepovers were spontaneous and sometimes involved sleeping outside on the trampoline.

We lived on 1 1/4 acres, a corner lot on the site of the old Spring River schoolhouse. The property still had the concrete foundation of the school house, the well house, both stone outhouses and the coal shed when we moved there. The girls outhouse eventually was turned into a clubhouse by Tater and her best friend (it was so old there was no uhm....evidence it had ever been an outhouse). The coal shed was where we stored our bikes, the dog had puppies and sixty bazillion wasps lived. The concrete foundation served as a stage, a great place to ride your bike off and do stunts, was marked with the black scars from "snakes" on the 4th of July and eventually became a raised garden for tomatoes and geraniums. My prom pictures were taken in the well house. A few years back the new owners bulldozed the outbuildings and the schoolhouse's foundation. I cried.


When someone in the community passed away, one of the neighbors, usually my mother, went house to house taking up donations to buy flowers for the bereaved; the card always read "the people of the Ottawa community". Casserole dishes were passed around liberally, always full, either on the coming or the going.

We had a party line.

We planted a garden.

We shot off fireworks on the 4th.

During the Iran hostage crisis there was a big yellow ribbon around the tree in the front yard.

Our yard saw many a wiffle ball game, croquet game and Easter egg hunt.

We had a go cart.

We had a pool.

We had an aerial antenna and that only afforded us three channels - until we got a gigantic satellite dish with a hand crank planted in the back yard.

We never had pizza delivered to our house.

We lived in a close-knit community. Most of the mommas stayed at home and if the daddies weren't farmers they worked at BFGoodrich in Miami. We helped each other out, we supported each other, everyone kept an eye on each other's kids, we played pranks, made casseroles and lived life the best way we knew how.

I've said it before,but it's true: where I come from has made me who I am today.

Where do you come from?

Join in the discussion over at the RHOK!

The RHOK


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6 comments:

Real Housewives of Oklahoma said...

I love where you came from! It reminds me of where my Aunt lives in Southern Oklahoma. A true community full of family and values. Great post! ♥Mrs. Hart♥

Nadine Hightower said...

howdy neighbor!

Baloney said...

This is like the farm area where my mom comes from - but it is in Texas. No strangers and people just show up whenever.
I'd like to see those prom pics. :)

Kellyology said...

My husband's from a small town, and I was amazed when his father died the outpouring of that small town. It was truly amazing, and it opened my eyes to the benefits that living a small town can bring. Awesome post...as per your usual divaliciousness.

Anonymous said...

The party line is the thing that shocks people the most when I describe my rural upbringing. Younger "city folk" just don't understand how it worked. :) I, personally, can adjust to living just about anyplace and certainly enjoyed some of the advantages of living in a city, but I am definitely glad to be back home!

Dawn said...

We had a party line and a go-cart!
We never had a pool though.

I think it's great to raise kids in a small town/community.

I miss people being neighborly.