They Got Me!

My grown kids surprised me at Christmas. It was a wow moment, a tear-jerker, a really cool surprise.

Y’all may remember that back during the summer, I told y’all about an awesome template that helps you to produce a very special biography. It’s called “Where I’m From.” I loved the exercise so much that I shared it with friends and family, immediate and extended, and did everything in my power to encourage everyone to sit down and compose their own. My enthusiastic efforts were met with minimal response, or so I thought.

This Christmas our grown children presented their father and me with a frame containing their own “Where I’m From” poems. Tears were shed as it was read aloud. Word is the daughter had to hound the son to make it happen, but he did it, bless his heart. Phillip turned his homework in to Jessica just in time for her to print it, stick them in a frame and bring them to Louisiana. Right now, my sweet daughter-in-law, Carey, is taking over and converting the files into jpgs that will be screen printed on large canvases for the dining room. To say I’m excited about that is quite the understatement.

I just had to share it with y’all! I hope you enjoy and it leads you to compose your own.

From my daughter, Jessica Maher Tomlinson

I am from mom’s home-made vanity, a daddy’s crafted dollhouse and small town backyard six flags. From two red lights, sinking cane poles and buckets of shucked corn.

I am from cypress lined banks cut from rich delta farmland and the spills of harvest scattered alongside two lane roads.

I am from a rusty old wooden swing and the climbing branches of a single sycamore tree, sweet honeysuckles hanging low and brick red shutters.

 I am from steaming tins filled with tamales and pitchers of ice cold lemonade, from grease stained black hands and everyone stops for a story…

I am from Rushings and Tomlinsons and from proud veterans, from quintessential belles and hard-working farmers. I am from Walters, Heaven’s Treasures, Larche Farms and All Things Southern. From Sunday church lunches and late night water checks.

I am from the farmer waiting for the precious fruit of the earth-being patient, from never-ending oyster crackers, secret recipe trash and the sweet aroma of spiced tea.

I am from a ragged dock, spinning tubes, oil soaked visqueen and talent shows. From a red brick Transylvania home filled with selfless love and giving and from dedicated coaches, a heart-pouring spiritual role-model and a silent steady man of God.

I am from the last shot, the last ending, the last point and the last quarter. I am from the moments of one more game of horse, dove chocolate stained hands, heartbreaks, heartaches and survival.

I am from I will always be your little girl and as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.

And my son, Phillip Tomlinson

I am from a sleepy neighborhood where boys can be boys, peanut butter sandwiches and lemonade on sunny afternoons.

I am from a brown brick house with baby blue carpet ripe for the “diving in” and a backyard pecan orchard for exploring all of nature’s marvels.

I am from sappy pecan trees that litter the yard with limbs and a mimosa tree that never ceases to cause strife between its owners.From Rt. 455, 2007 Island Pt. where names like Nanny, Papa, MawMaw and Grandbuzzy are mentioned with tones of love and admiration following them.

I am from a piece of heaven on earth where a young man can till the soil and witness God’s majesty on display; where sweat and farmers tans are as commonplace as the sweet tea that we so enjoy.

I am from dirt ball courts and long summer nights that birth dreams and a desire to be all that you can be.

I am from a long line of hard workers whose dedication and perseverance are talked about by all who know them.

I am from the lineage of true followers of God; from those who don’t speak carelessly but whose actions exemplify their beliefs.

I am from the Deep South where football, sweet tea and pecan pie are staples of our diet. From a family of Cameron Crazies who have watched more games of Duke basketball than Dickie V has nicknames.

I am from a calculated decision maker who studies all options available and a fly-by the seat of your pants author who will never be accused of being slow to make a choice.

I am from cut grass, harvested corn fields, flooded rice paddies, and dirt turn roads. I could not be prouder of where I’m from.




(and I could not love these two more!)

Hugs, Shellie



  1. Sandra Smith says

    What a testament…thanks for sharing your special Christmas gifts with us Shellie. There is no doubt those apples did not fall far from the tree. Love you my friend.

  2. Tanya says

    I could image each item they ‘came from’. I agree with Sandra Gay, what a Testament! Thanks for sharing, i might give that a whirl one day, could be interesting, Where I Am From!!

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