Joy and a Favorite

Today, I am republishing one of my favorite posts and linking it up with Mama’s Losin’ It.

I loved this exercise and rereading the final product still brings me joy

This was the first post I linked up as editor of The Red Dress Club, now known as Write on Edge.

Thanks for reading!

Where I’m From

I am from steaming breakfasts of golden, crispy bird’s nests with magnificent runny yolks, from impossibly weak Maxwell House coffee and pre-dawn moments of true connection.

I am from the salmony pink-shingled house on the corner, drafty, sunny, and melancholy. Three front steps, ever in need of fresh paint, slightly wobbly from the destructive frosting and heaving of the long and brutal winter.

I am from the unkempt clusters of lilacs, scattered dandelions gone to seed, tendrils of fuchsia bleeding hearts, stolen  and fragile jack-in-the pulpits, and haphazard bouquets of fringed chrysanthemums.

I am from high school diplomas and honest work, from Robert and Max and Judy.  Vegetable gardens of diligence and abundance, encouragement and acceptance, freedom and wild brambly raspberries.

I am from delayed gratification and inherent guilt.

From uncanny paternal resemblance and from the weight of the loss of my father placed upon my childhood.  A stand in, but never a replacement.

I am from bean suppers on Saturday evenings. Cream pies, Jello salads, blue hair, and integrity and kindness.

I am from the intersection of Catholicism and Northern Baptist. Where the Trinity meets God and Jesus.  Where faith meets practice.

I’m from New England, Maine, Fairfield, tourtiere pie and sticky, chocolatey whoopie pies.

From the legacy of my father’s senseless murder, my Pépère’s faintly beer-scented breath, his ever-present and lovely banjo, Hawaiian melodies, and his tender and loving soul.

I am from the cedar hope chest, tiny golden key, idyllic dreams, childhood report cards, penmanship awards, and two unlikely college graduation caps and gowns.

What brought you joy this week? 

I’d love to know!


  1. MamaWantsThis

    So glad you republished this – it's beautiful.

  2. "I am from delayed gratification and inherent guilt." –I so understand this!!

    "Where faith meets practice." –I LOVE THIS!

    I am so sorry about your father and that you had to grow up so many years without him….

    Thanks for sharing your story with us!

  3. Courtney K.

    Beautiful post. I agree that "where faith meets practice" is one of the most perfect lines in this post.

  4. Diane

    Wow. Very powerful and left me wanting to know more of your story. Thank you for sharing it again today.

  5. What brought me joy? This. Reading your words always makes me smile.

    (Also, Abbey and Dylan playing "bear cub" in a giant car seat box.)

  6. Kir

    Jacob doing his full body shake in joy …that's what made me smile his week.

    this was so amazing, WOW.

    I am from delayed gratification and inherent guilt. (my very favorite line)


  7. meg

    What a great job you did with this. I'm working on mine, this was an inspiration!

  8. Megan -Best of Fates

    This week? It officially becoming fall. I'm a sucker for fall.

  9. Grams

    Lovely job with this post. "The weight of the loss of my father placed upon my childhood. A stand in, but never a replacement." is really poignant. And I especially like "Cream pies, Jello salads, blue hair, and integrity and kindness." Very vivid imagery.

    Stopping by from Mama Kat's.

  10. thisismynewmoon

    Excellent post. Love it. Yesterday, a friend came to visit me at work and she brought me a pumpkin spice latte. It was just the thing I needed to survive the last few hours of my day.

  11. Oh, this is beautiful. So well written and your details come to life!

  12. John

    This is a truly lovely piece, Nichole – and thank you for re-posting it. While I love archive diving, I don't know when I would have stumbled upon this one.

  13. Mrs. Wonder

    I love love love this exercise. I'm sure I will revisit writing this prompt again, when I have more time and memories… yours is beautiful.

  14. Sherri

    Love, love this my friend….and how all that you are from brought you to where you are today. And who you are.

  15. Of course you did a brilliant job with this. Not at all surprised. I love the big pieces of your history intertwined with the small details.

  16. amandastclair

    very nice. I love your flower description. Bleeding hearts are my favorite.

  17. JDaniel4's Mom

    I so enjoyed reading this. Thank you for reposting it.

  18. Kimberly

    I love getting to know you better in this. I'm so glad you reposted this!

  19. Melissa

    This was lovely. Thank you for sharing. This was my first visit to your blog, but it certainly will not be my last.

  20. julie gardner

    This was beautiful, Nichole. I don't know when you first posted it, but I believe this is my first time reading it.

    I love love love the details this prompt reveals. And also that everyone seems to have one thing in common in this life:

    jello salad.


  21. Loved this! This is beautiful!

  22. Tonya

    I remember being blown away by this the first time around. Beautiful, Nichole. I love how it offers so much insight into your upbringing, character, family and story.

    I really wanted to participate in last week's Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop, using this prompt but I simply could not find the words.

  23. … a lump – again.
    Hope to spend more time with you the next time i see you … maybe in NoCal next Summer – who knows!

  24. Margaret

    Wow! That was so rich and full! So much there in so little space. Well done, my friend! Just beautiful.

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