Friday, March 26, 2010

Where you come from

So, I watched "Who Do You Think You Are" tonight on NBC, which I've been wanting to do for awhile. The fact that Matthew Broderick was in it tonight(and I think he's adorable) didn't hurt. I'm not good at geneology, but luckily my brothers are and have done a ton of work/temple work for our ancestors. I really wouldn't even know where to start, but I hope to have time someday to do it. Knowing who you come from is powerful. It was neat to watch Matthew (I will always think of him as Ferris) find long lost grandparents that fought in WWI and the Civil War.

Which brings me to where I came from. My mom was born in a teeny town in Alabama (Linden). I always knew the crazy part of her upbringing....the strange names (Arcola and Norfleet, just to name a few), funny accents, and stories about the more colorful relatives that we all seem to have. I was lucky enough to travel there in 2003 with my mom and cousin, Linda. I really got to see what it was all about. It was beautiful, yet different than I had ever imagined. My kin (as they called themselves) were so open to seeing us. It truly was a whole other world. Fireflies at night, deep woods, gorgeous homes, beautiful little churches everywhere. Think Forrest Gump's hometown....which is literally right next door. The only turn-off was the extreme racism that still exists. Very surreal. Still, amazing to see this town.

The strangest part of the whole trip, though, was how "homey" it felt. I truly felt like I was part of that little town, a little like I was home, not just visiting. Of course, my relatives were so nice and welcoming (and their cooking was amazing), but it really was more than just that. I came from there. My family's beginning in the church came from there. Ancestry is a strong connection. I'm realizing this a lot. There are the obvious things that we pass to our children, like eyes and hair color, but I think we pass a lot more. I see the same insecurities, strengths, weaknesses and even "baggage" going to my kids, just like it came to me. I love that we have connections in the universe to people we never knew on this Earth. It makes me believe in a pre-existence.
The house my mom was born in and lived in...
The Magnolia Branch ward house

This was where my Grandpa Jowers had his restaurant

my mom with her brother's grave...he died as an infant

One of the many graveyards we walked around.

Being there also helped me learn a lot about the south. A coke is any soda, everything burns down there at some point, there really is a store called the "Piggly-Wiggly", they are CRAZY drivers, and that my family has a really interesting history.

Where are you all from?


Ashley said...

I wish I could have gone on that trip with you guys! It sounds so amusing and I am really just thinking about the food.

brooke said...

Interesting post. I do feel a connection to the South even though I've never been just because Grandma Poole is from there. I love seeing the house they grew up in--so pretty.

I need to watch that show "Who Do You Think YOu Are?" Wish I could have seen Ferris--he will always be Ferris.

Tell Bill that we had a major meltdown from Luke when we discovered that he had not, in fact, won the art contest! He already has his shoes and coat on and was ready to claim his prize. He ended up bawling in my bed but it was nothing that a trip to Frogurt couldn't fix :-)

Liz said...

Oh my gosh......Brooke, we are so SORRY! Bill feels so, so bad. I admit, I've seen that Warner kid's name before on the rolls and think it's you guys. We so owe you.
That's Bill .....spreading sunshine all over the world.

Jensen Family said...

Maybe that's why I feel so at home in the Midwest. Yes, I "grew-up" in the Chicago area, but both grandparents on my Mother's side have roots there. However, on my dad's side, they've been here since pioneer times, so Utah should also feel like "home". We're still tryin' after 15 years. Maybe they were too.