Where I’m from

Trying something new here today as I link up with the synchroblog over at sheloves.com where we share our heritage stories.

Here’s mine:

I am from..

I’m from hands made red scrubbing with Fairy soap, arms to elbow in suds, wringing, steaming, line-flapping, wind-dancing laundry blowing against my head

From mangle, squeezing out doll’s clothes, now you’ve caught your thumb, before ‘elf and safety was ever thought of or begun

I am from side-to-side dwelling, know each others’ business, doors ajar, lean over garden fences, see your neighbours’ faces and invade each others spaces

And Sunday roast in oven, larder heavy with home-made stuff,  jelly and custard, dripping on toast, sausage rolls, Christmas spiked ham, pickles and mustard

I am from roses abundant, catch petals in a jar, shake well with water, savour the smell with an “Aaah!”  From embracing cats, budgerigars, mice and rabbits and cleaning up after their dirty habits

I’m from chasing on the lawn to capture elusive dreams and butterflies, with hope, expectancy and angels floating in my eyes

I am from scratch and prickle horse-chestnut, making conkers, shaking and climbing trees whose long gone limbs I remember as if they were my own, though they belonged in woodland close to our home

I’m from blue smoke rising, swirling to choke breath out of a room, throw the fags, clink the glasses, toast the Queen, enjoy good times, drown our sorrows and link up for the dance of Auld Lang Syne

From Sunday afternoon snoozes, weekend outings to beach or countryside to admire the view and (hopefully) squeeze in a game or two

I’m from keep quiet at the table and sit up straight and always eat everything put on your plate

And I’m from working class and working hard from dawn to dusk, face lathered, razored, hair smoothed shiny as acorn husk

With dad’s shoes spit-polished and neatly pressed clothes, for no matter how lowly the job a man has to present well, as everyone knows

Mum’s middle class background and leanings shown in books she was reading and the superiority over what she thought or knew. And she wasn’t past pampering her face, leaving imprints of jammy red lipstick staining screwed up tissues in every place.

I’m from giving non church-going parents a rest by attending Sally Army Sunday school, singing, “Jesus loves me, this I know”, with them little realising this was the very best thing for me, as Truth would be rooted, dug deep, to bring life, grow fruit later and on to eternity

I am from East coast flatlands, fenlands, beaches and broads where holidaymakers stream in summer hordes; a cathedral city with cobbled streets, theatres, museums, castle on a hill, parks to play in and hide at will

And candy-floss fairs, sticky treacle pud and hot fried chips to grease and burn the lips. With Fanta, Corona, sherbet fountains, licorice laces and sweets bought to please, rot the teeth and grant parents some ease

I’m from marbles, hopscotch, skip and keep time, roller-skates, hula-hoops, pogo-sticks, reading and rhyme

With Jack Frost nipping inside the pane, hot water bottles, coal fires toasting shins and chestnuts, savouring the heat before we felt cold again

From leaving and cleaving elsewhere, going away and disappear, get a job, get a life, new husband, new wife, divorce, trouble and strife

Having twin sisterly sharing, squabbles, discipline, smacking, sitting legs dangling on chair where we sulked, wriggled impatient, until giggles erupted everywhere

There may not be too many precious mementoes to hang over my bed but I keep a select few tucked away in my head

Adult life meant starting anew when God claimed my heart at 17 years old.  And He’s been working diligently ever more behind the scenes to renew, repair and restore broken memories and dreams, weaving them into a tapestry beautiful to behold


I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane.

Now you know even more about me!

There was much to reflect upon, as there always is when you’ve lived a longish life.

Do join in the synchroblog if you can. The template on sheloves.com is a guide but how you express it is up to you.

You don’t have to be poetic at all, that’s just the way I naturally lean.

22 thoughts on “Where I’m from

  1. Dear Joy
    I am impressed by how you are able to transform an “ordinary” life into something so extraordinary. It is beautiful and I am totally addicted to candy floss.
    Much love, my friend XX

    • Candy floss is strangely addictive, isn’t it, Mia? Maybe it’s the eat-it-quick, imminent threat of hair-tangling, melt-in-the-mouth feeling we seem to love. Though I don’t indulge these days! Our stories may seem ordinary but they have extraordinary power to link us together.

    • Thank you, Shelly! I appreciate your kind comment and I’m glad you could see some of your own history here too. Yes, the threads holding us together are tighter than we realise sometimes. PS:Thanks for your approval of my new look blog. It’s a work in progress like it’s writer!

  2. Dear Joy
    I cannot find a place where I can contact you personally, but I want to ask you a big favor! I am in the midst of the worst flare in seven years and I battle to write. If you are okay, it would be such an honor if you can write a guest post for me for Monday!! No pressure my friend and feeling free to say no.
    Blessings XX

    • Dear Mia, I am so sorry to hear how you are struggling right now. I would love to help you out if I can and am giving due consideration to your request re the guest post. Just need to pray about it before replying later by e-mail. Is that OK with you? Blessings, my friend. Xx

  3. Oh Joy! I love this so much! Enjoyed! Love this … “I am from roses abundant, catch petals in a jar, shake well with water, savour the smell with an “Aaah!” From embracing cats, budgerigars, mice and rabbits and cleaning up after their dirty habits” Treasure memories!! 🙂 xx

    • Relate indeed! My heart is but a memory box~ filled with treasures! 🙂 Sadly the Lord chose to take my twin at birth ~ but I have four sisters that I shared both sour and delicious squabbles! I agree with Mary whole heartedly, your writing is an “exquisite example” and the Lord has used your words to bless me. 🙂 xx

      • Oh, Kathy, I am so sorry to hear about your twin sister that you had no opportunity to get to know and love. But I’m delighted you then received four (!) sisters to share confidences and conflict with at times. Thank you so much for the lovely comment here! Blessings Xx 🙂

    • Mary, I am overwhelmed by your response to my writing and deeply touched by your kind words. Thank you! I am also greatly honoured and delighted for this piece to be profiled on the Christian Poets & Writers blog site. Blessings and gratitude to you 🙂 x

  4. I love this joy. I related to some of your story, like the hula hoops and the pogo sticks. What a blessing that you found refuge in Sunday School all those years ago and gave your heart to Jesus at 17. These “I am from” writes are so deep and personal and sweet and sorrowful and full of life and adventure and pain and growth. Amazing! I am going to do one too! Right now! Hugs to you!

    • Yes, they are a mixed bag of the sweet and sour and a delightful peek into family lives and history. I am eternally grateful that my warring, dysfunctional parents were influenced by the folk who lived next door and sent us to Sunday School. So pleased you liked this, Kelly, and have got the bug to write your own! I’m sure it will be a wonderful read. Go girl! Hugs and blessings. Xx

  5. Joy, you’ve done something new, I think. Your poetry is always beautiful but this is very special – it’s a memoir, it’s a song, it’s a prayer-offering. It’s just lovely.

    • What a lovely description, Helen! It simply flowed and seemed to write itself poetically somehow. But I can see how it could also be looked at as memoir, song and prayer offering too. Thank you, my friend. So pleased you enjoyed it Xx

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