Where are you from?

Where are you from?

It’s a standard question during interviews. My standard answer is “upstate New York.” But, really, there’s so much more to it than that.

I started life in the tiny hamlet of Ionia, New York. My family has lived there for many generations, and after moving around quite a bit during childhood and early adulthood, I ended up right back in that same little community. After getting married, I moved all of four miles away, and still spend much time in my beloved Ionia.

Ionia sign

But the story goes back further. My grandparents were all from this area, but their parents came from many different places. I have English, French, German, and Scottish roots. My paternal grandfather was the first of his family to be born in the United States. His siblings were all born in Canada, and their parents were Scottish immigrants. I long to some day visit Scotland to trace my heritage.

What at first seems a simple question can really run quite deep. It taps into not just where you are from, but who you are. How do you view yourself? With whom do you identify? Where do you feel most at home?

So…where are you from?


About HFBrainerd

Published novelist and Disney World fanatic. Thanks for coming along on this wild ride!
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7 Responses to Where are you from?

  1. Heather G says:

    Interesting post Heather. Good to hear you have some Canadian blood running through your veins. No wonder I feel like you’re my long lost sister.
    Me, I’m third generation Canadian.

    • HFBrainerd says:

      Ha! Yes, I think we were separated at birth! But I’m trying to figure out if I actually do have Canadian blood… my grandfather’s older siblings were born in Canada, but to Scottish immigrants. I’m not really sure how that works out, so let’s just say I’m Canadian at heart 🙂

  2. J.Q. Rose says:

    Great question.Loved your answer. Me? I’m from Central Illinois originally and brought up in a small town surrounded by acres and acres of cornfields and soybeans. The fertile black soil of the plains grew fantastic crops. After I was married, we moved to West Michigan. When I was so homesick for those flat cornfields, I would drive around those very few acres of corn in our area and cry till I got it out of my system. Funny how “home” will always be Illinois, although we have lived in this beautiful area for 38 years!

  3. I am from eastern Wisconsin but in the first twenty years of my marriage, I lived in Texas, California, Washington State, Idaho, Colorado, and now I am back but in Western Wisconsin.

    As far as my heritage, all of my grandparents were born in Europe. I am half Lithuanian, a quarter Hungarian, and a quarter Austrian. Of the three countries, I have only been to Austria.

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