Where I’m From–New Orleans

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I found this writing excercise via Galit Breen’s blog, These Little Waves, and she got it from Mama Kat. It’s been on my mind for awhile, but I’ve been distracted. Now it’s time. If you’d like to give it a shot, you can find Mama Kat’s template here. Based on the original poem- Where I’m From by George Ella Lyon.


I am from heaping plates of Camellia red beans over rice with andouille sausage, from Haydel’s King Cakes long before they had cream cheese in the middle, and drive-through daquiri shops that sell by go cup or the gallon.

I am from the two-story red brick house on Livingston with a pea-gravel driveway and lots of lush landscaping.  I’m from ligustrum and birch trees, liriope, and Confederate jasmine. I’m from snowball stands, beignets with powdered sugar and the Roman Candy Man.

I am from rivers and lakes with long names, St. Augustine grass that’s hard and crunchy under bare feet. I am from a city of steamy summers that lacks four seasons. I am from a city where the levees hold back muddy water, where alligators lurk and moss hangs in heaps from the ancient oak trees.

I am from Baskin Robbins on Friday afternoons after school and lots of anxiety; I am from Best, Hicks, Guten and Margoles. I am from a cat named Mateus, a stray dog named Zoe and a beloved Yorkshire terrier named Darby. I am from several buried goldfish and two parakeets named Jack and Jack.

I am from Tums takers, list makers,  and Monopoly players. I’m from “MYOB!” (mind your own business) and “Be on your best behavior,” and “Who Dat!”

I am from Judaism, from Bubbe Sarah who lived in Russia. I am from little religion, but always the desire to learn more, be more, and do more. I am from the six million who perished in the Holocaust. I am from those who will never forget.

I am from New Orleans, Milwaukee and Millington, Tennessee; from crawfish boils, shrimp poboys and bagels with lox and cream cheese. I am from Mardi Gras, Bud’s Broiler, voodoo dolls and plantations.

I am from Grandma Frances who birthed four sons and lost one in a car accident; from Grandma Betty who struggled with bipolar disorder and lost the battle with her demons; and from my mother, Julie, who went back to college in her 40’s and completed grad school while juggling three kids, a gay husband, and a divorce.

I am from silent home movies, photo albums with yellowing pages, and pictures in frames. I am from baby books stuffed with souvenirs, and silver cups and rattles with my name engraved on them. I am from white baby shoes with scuffed up toes and worn laces.

I am from love, laughter, and lots of memories.


Now, psssst. Besides this bun I’ve got in the oven, I’ve been dying to share another secret I’ve been cooking up, and today I can! My first ever post is up TONIGHT at Aiming Low. I’m going to be a regular writer over there (until they wise up & fire me), so CLICK HERE for a snarky post about my desire for a sister wife.

Aiming Low

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  • http://loveyourmessbook.com Allison Nazarian

    absolutely beautiful!

    • Anonymous

      thanks, sweet friend! how are you? how were those steaks Nick made? I am really trying to “love my mess” today, but it’s hard. sigh. hey, were you at CIP in Atlanta over the weekend?

  • http://www.thingsicantsay.com shellthings

    I just love this! 

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com Erin Margolin

      Thanks so much, Shell! I had a good time with it—it was nice to  really “write,” I’ve been so out of it during this pregnancy…

  • Anonymous

    Your first paragraph made me tear up. There is some NOLA in the air this morning. I wonder what it means? 

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com Erin Margolin


      Awwww, really? I evoked that much emotion in you? That makes me feel kinda awesome! I appreciate your stopping by. NOLA rocks!

  • http://twitter.com/CathyLynn_ Cathy Lynn

    Beautiful. So much history in so few words. I love it.

    Being that you found it from Galit who found it from Mama Kat…would it be ok if I found it from you? I’ll link back to everyone for credit. I’d love to see if I can use my words well enough to describe where I’m from.

    So excited about your first post at Aiming Low!!

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com Erin Margolin


      OF COURSE YOU CAN! And send me a link when you’re done so I can tweet it out, etc! Would love to see what you come up with! 😉


    • http://www.erinmargolin.com Erin Margolin


      Okay, so I suck because I haven’t followed up with you yet to see if you’ve done the prompt. Have you? I really loved doing this one. I haven’t been doing as much writing lately, but this called to me and I jumped on it! Hope you are working on it (or maybe you already posted and I am just slow!)!! xoxo p.s. you’d better post some of your kick-ass photos to go with it?!

  • http://www.fromtracie.com From Tracie

    This is so beautiful. I got a real sense of the small and big moments that made you. I did one of these a while back, and I remember that it was hard, but fun to write.

    I’m excited about your new gig!! You are going to rock it over there….will there be space to apply for a sister-wife position? I totally want in on that 😉

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com Erin Margolin


      Thanks, sweetie! And didn’t I already tell you you were hired for sister wife? We can get a third one to do all the things we don’t want to do—how does that sound? XOXOX

  • http://itsblogworthy.com Amanda Austin

    This is so awesome! My favorite line is about the alligators lurking. Perfectly sums up the South. Congrats on your writing gig at Aiming Low!

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com Erin Margolin


      Thanks, sweetie! I hope I can keep the Aiming Low gig without screwing it up! I’m honored to be over there and am so excited about it. I think it’ll be a good distraction for me until baby comes and after she arrives when I’m dealing with so much, um, stuff, you know?

  • Auntie M

    Brilliant, thoughtful and meaningful. A piece of your history the girls are sure to treasure!
    Love, Auntie M

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com Erin Margolin

      Auntie M,

      Thank you!  Love & miss you! xoxo

  • http://twitter.com/galitbreen Galit Breen

    Erin! I LOVE it- LOVE! You? Are pure fabulous and I consider myself lucky to call you a friend! XO

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com Erin Margolin


      I’m just glad I found the meme through you, my dear. I felt it calling to me! xoxoxo

  • http://tiaras-and-trucks.blogspot.com Angela

    I. Love. This.  I have only been to New Orleans once, but I fell in love.  Beautifully written. 

    And congrats on your new gig!

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com Erin Margolin


      Thank you!!! I definitely miss it. I don’t get to visit as often as I’d like…but I can write about it!

  • http://www.mamasmonologues.com Kimberly

    I love this! I’ve never been to New Orleans, but have always wanted to visit.

    Congrats on the writing gig!

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com Erin Margolin


      New Orleans is AWESOME! Hope you get to travel there someday. Thanks so much for stopping by! 😉

  • http://www.thewatson6.blogspot.com jessica

    Love this, felt like a walk through New Orleans and a little of my past of silent movies and scuffed white shoes.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com Erin Margolin


      Yep, I have my shoes—my family wasn’t the bronzing type. So just have the actual shoes. Thank you so much for stopping by! 😉 xoxo

  • Juliecgardner

    Where your from is simply beautiful. (Except for the Tums. Oh, poor heartburn-sufferers!)

    But I LOVE this, Erin. 

    (And my parents said MYOB at least fifteen times a day to me until I moved away to college…)

    Can’t wait to see you over at Aiming Low. 

    Hooray for you!

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com Erin Margolin

      Thanks, Julie!! Love that you had to hear MYOB, too!

  • http://www.mommyofamonster.com Natalie@mommyofamonster

    Love this prompt, and remember doing it for The Red Dress Club! You nailed it 😉

    Also, congrats on the Aiming Low gig!! xoxoxo

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com Erin Margolin


      Thanks, girlie! I appreciate it! xo

  • MiMi

    Congrats on your new gig!
    I love this prompt. It’s awesome.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com Erin Margolin

      Thank you, sweet MiMi! I really enjoyed doing this one.

  • Anonymous

    I did this the week Mama Kat had it up.. I love this LOVE it and I read aiming low and while the position is enticing I already do the same thing here only with sex once a week bwhahahaha

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com Erin Margolin

      I’ve been horrible about making blog visits, but want to read your Where I’m From post! I’ll try to come by soon! 😉

  • Lady Jennie

    You are from beautiful places Erin.  :-)

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com Erin Margolin

      And Lady Jennie, you LIVE in a beautiful place—LUCKY!

  • http://twitter.com/musingsdemommy Musings de Mommy

    I am a huge fan of this writing prompt. I did one last year and love it each time I read a new one. You are, my friend, you are. Adored reading this. 

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com Erin Margolin

      Thanks so much, Denise! So happy to see you over here!

  • Amy declouet

    This is beautiful Erin!  You are such a talented writer to intertwine all these memories. Brought me back to my childhood as I come from very similar stock:)

    Great post!

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com Erin Margolin


      I was hoping you’d be able to relate! Hope you are doing better—been thinking about you, the baby & work, etc! xoxox

  • http://twitter.com/nycpatty Patty

    I love this post! Just show how amazing you are! :)

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com Erin Margolin

      Thank you, Patty! Appreciate your kind words and the visit!

  • http://www.babesrockinmami.com Stephanie

    You are from amazing things!

  • Ally

    Great post – it really makes you think about all the things that make up who we are.

  • http://rasjacobson.com/ Renee Schuls-Jacobson

    It’s Renée, from Lessons from Teachers & Twits. Okay, you are from N’awlins? Whaaaat? We are gonna have to talk. I used to teach at Country Day in Old Metairie and I write about it all the time on my bloggie! I love love love this post, and I have used it with my own students. 😉

  • http://www.thekircorner.com Kir

    I am truly hoping to get to NOLA soon, the last time we talked about it was right before I got PG with the boys and well you know what happens after that!!! :) you have such a gorgeous way with words Erin. Thank you for sharing all that your ARE…with us.