I am from the forgotten streambed where cattle roamed, from Bookmobile forays and too-short sweat pants.
I am from the creaky upstairs with slanted roof, or the backyard swing set on the kid-imagined mountain.
I am from Kleczynski reunions and bony noses, from Grandma K’s donuts and Uncle Ken’s barbeques and Steinkamp camping trips.
I am from life-long friendships that push me every day just to be worthy of them.
From the land of strangeporks, weirdbeards and bedtime Aesop’s.
I am from tough-kneed Catholics and quiet, powerful faith, where you’re family if you join us twice. Bring food next time.
I'm from stubbornness and determination, a combination just as deadly as Mom’s macaroni and cheese and Linda’s banana cream pie, and where an incurable disease known as Jerkism seems to run in the family.
I am from the thorny blackberry bushes hiding secret forts, the backyard trees with hotdogs for leaves.
From scenic routes through Eastern Oregon, sometimes with no flat tires, and from snow-packed skiing trails perfect for pushing dad over.
I am from whole-family pictures numbered to remind us who is who, JustBesideAndMy and WalkMeBeFriend, and walls stuffed with laughter where the house is warmed by love just as much as woodstoves.
From Inside the Actor's Studio, the Proust Questionnaire with The Man's answers:
1. What is your favorite word?
2. What is your least favorite word?
Your, wondering every time I see "your" if someone really meant "you're."
3. What turns you on?
listening to music that evokes great emotion
4. What turns you off?
haughty disrespect, like when certain people ruin the enjoyment of a soccer game with poor sportsmanship. Get over yourself and let us enjoy the game.
5. What sound or noise do you love?
pianos and violins, separately or together. See #3.
6. What sound or noise do you hate?
ticking clocks and the noise my wife makes when she is picking at her hangnails
7. What is your favorite curse word?
"Shit," specifically when my dad says it while working on a car. Also, "Fuckin' A."
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Astronaut. Thinking about it always brings me a sense of wonder and awe.
9. What profession would you not like to do?
Paparazzi, the most evil job in the world because a requirement of the job is invading privacy and a sense of entitlement to everything you do and everything other people do.
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?