Friday, May 31, 2013

Where I Come From...

 My 4th Birthday

I come from wild flower fence-rows and grass rural routes
From clover-sweet meadows and muddy barn-boots
I come from co’-boss calls and farm-life joys
From ‘I’m the 3rd of ten children; five girls and five boys’

I come from Daily Bread mornings and evening prayer nights
From ‘listen to your parents’; ‘many-hands-make-work-light’
I come from itchy stockings and worn hand-me-downs
From everybody’s talking while the food’s passed around

I come from learning how to flute a pie-crust
From piled in the station-wagon ‘in God we trust’
I come from hard work and front-yard baseball
From a two-cookie rule or the cookies ‘is all’

I come from ‘Everyone needs to do their part’
From a hymn-singing mother with a gentle heart
I come from a Daddy who taught us of God
And whistled while he tilled both souls and sod

I came from God’s country; I was sure of that
As the rooster crowed early and the dog chased the cat
And the grain turned amber in the summer sun
As did care-free children in the pasture pond

I come from a quaint, two-room country school  
Eight grades of book-learning and the golden rule
Cartoons were pictures and words in the paper
And television was something we once saw at the neighbor

I come from sister-spats and singing four-part harmony
As we husked mountains of sweet-corn beneath the willow tree
Oh, I am who I am not by some fluke ho-hum
I am who I am because of where I come from

© Janet Martin

"What are sister-spats?", asks Victoria, my youngest daughter as we read the poem together. "Well", I said, "I guess it's like little fights".
"Oh Mom",she replied, aghast! "You fought with your sisters?! I didn't think you ever fought" ;-0

This is the time of year I always ask myself ‘How did my mother do it?!”  The four oldest in our family are celebrating our birthdays.
Oldest daughter, June 16 1964,
Oldest son, May 30,1965,
Next daughter(me) June 7 1966,
Next son, May 28, 1967,
after that 3 more daughters, then 3 sons!
While we grew up we were ‘the four oldest’, ‘the three little girls’ and ‘the three little boys’. I remember Mom saying my youngest brother had six mothers. This past Sunday I attended a 40 year school reunion. The two-room school is now a three-room school but wow, what a trip down memory lane.  Tonight while I was washing dishes and watching the rain fall suddenly ‘where I come from’ washed over me…


  1. You have indeed been blessed, what a cool history/legacy you have!

  2. Yes, I have been blessed. I often think of that whom much is given much will be required. Life was not perfect by any means but we really did not know how blessed we were. It's in the looking back that it becomes so vivid!

  3. I loved this, Janet! What a pleasure to read and learn more about you in the process.

    So well done.



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