I’ve been back in the U.S. a little over a month now and I’ve started a new job in this time. This undoubtedly leads to “where are you from?” questions and I’ve lived so many places in the last few years that I’m not even sure where I’m from anymore.
It used to be easy! I was born in Tennessee, then I moved to Arkansas and lived there for thirteen years until I went to college, in Tennessee. Now that I’m dwelling on it, I’ve actually lived in Tennessee longer than Arkansas, if you count the first five years of my life that I simply don’t remember! The tally looks something like this:
Arkansas – 13.5 years
Tennessee – 15.5 years
Ireland – 1.75 years
Georgia – 1 month
I seldom CLAIM to be Arkansan. Simply because over the years I’m over people thinking I’m an “overall wearing (which are back in style, BTW), shoeless, gun-toting heathen” when I respond to the infamous “Where are you from?” question with “Arkansas”. I would actually get bewildered looks in Ireland if I mentioned Arkansas, mostly because they have no idea where it is and if they do know it, all they know is Bill Clinton.
Let me set the record straight. I assure you that just because the media finds the most misrepresentative person to interview 99% of the time that Arkansans are nice, hospitable people who wear clothes & shoes, have teeth, hold jobs, use the Internet, and love football and hunting. If the apocalypse hits, forget Georgia, and give me my duck & deer hunting childhood friends! Are there people who live in the woods and don’t wear shoes? Probably. I’ve never met them. But I’m pretty sure they exist in other states too, from California to Connecticut.
I’m always amazed how certain songs affect me differently at certain points in my life–heck, different days even. A song for every mood & moment right? So let me tie my Arkansas rant together with Cherry Pie (no, not the food, but that does sound delicious!).
I was sitting on my flight from JFK to ATL recently listening to my Eden’s Edge album. The song Cherry Pie came on and it instantly took me back to my past life–my childhood. Listening to this song always makes me happy to have Arkansan roots.
To my first pony, Cherry Pie,
from the little girl you taught to fly,
to the sun.
To Mrs. Thorton, from third grade,
I remember all the times you’d stay,
till Daddy picked me up.
Oh, did you ever know?
Did I ever tell you so?
I hope you understand,
you have so much to do with who I am.
To my older brother, Wes,
I worshiped everything you did and said.
I hope it didn’t bother you.
To Grandma Melva and Grandpa Lin,
what I’d give just to be five, again,
singin’ in your living room.
Arkansas summer wind,
to feelings that never end,
to anyone who called me “friend”.
All the blessings from above,
to Mama’s kiss and Daddy’s hug,
I didn’t say it near enough-
Thank you for who I am!
To my first pony, Cherry Pie,
from the little girl you taught to fly.
I could only find a live version on YouTube, but it’s still pretty amazing and still gives me chills because i could listen to Hannah for HOURS. Her voice is so unbelievable.
It takes me back to days where I was independent and headstrong but I have an amazing mother who tried to listen and steer me in the right direction and I’m more like her every day. I have an amazing father who taught me the value of a hard-earned dollar and how to change the oil in my car. I have a sister who, despite the stuffed animal wars in the halls throughout the years, loves me unconditionally and, even though I’m older, teaches me more about life each year.
It takes me back to the days of Red Rover and kickball; where the school years were long and summers short; There was love & laughter. There was heartbreak and tears; There was ghosts in the graveyard, sleepovers, gymnastics meets, band practice, and family vacations. I never wanted for anything, but I didn’t have everything handed to me either.
And every single ounce of who I am is shaped by this past–and I don’t think I could capture that any better than this song!
Though it is funny when I actually listen to this song because two of the members of this group grew up in the same town as I did. We went to school together; attended church together. I know the names of (some) of the people sung about in the song. For that reason maybe the song touches me more than most, but it is absolutely a beautiful song and you need to listen to it. Arkansan or not. And no, Eden’s Edge may have parted ways, but I simply don’t care. I absolutely, 100% love their songs and they’ll forever be a part of me.
To my Arkansas roots, THANK YOU FOR WHO I AM!
Until next time. XOXO – K