Friday, March 24, 2017

Where are you from and where have you been?

I met a guy the other day and as we began to talk he asked me where I was from. My immediate response was, “Right here in Fort Worth, Texas”. My thoughts were much deeper though and for the past few days I’ve pondered that question. We are all from much more than the town in which we were born. When I consider my own weird yet oddly socially acceptable personality I see that I am from a diverse combination of family traits and consequences.

When I write about family members most of those memories are about loved ones on my mom’s side of the family. The obvious reason is our location. My dad graciously left everyone in his family behind to move to Texas after he met this good-looking girl working the counter at the Fort Hood, Texas laundry at the close of World War II. Although he had left his home in South Dakota rather quickly to volunteer for the war effort his lure became Texas and this new woman rather than the return he had dreamed of while defending himself from Japanese soldiers. After returning to his home from the war, by way of processing out through Fort Hood, he introduced the woman he had met, married her in South Dakota, then left family and friends to return to Texas to build a home and family of his own. What he brought with him from South Dakota were the cultures, traditions, and training he had obtained while growing up.

If you can imagine the surprise and stress created for the Mihills’ family in South Dakota to find out their youngest son was bringing home a woman from Texas who had probably been raised by wolves or wild Indians, think about the shock in the Hallmark family to discover the baby sister had been stolen by some crazy Yankee. The images brought to mind for a large group of older brothers was enough to create a storm of vicious activity. Had they known my dad’s strict propriety and proper adherence to rules, both written and assumed, they wouldn’t have been quite as upset at my future dad. Instead, they waited for my parents return to Texas with anger, clubs, hammers, and probably a few loaded rifles. It took a long, long time for the families on both sides of this new Mihills’ home to accept and appreciate what had been created.

So you see, it’s a combination of very different cultures and personalities that brought about me and my four much loved siblings.

I’ve been working on a book “off and on” for over three years. The book covers the life stories of my mom and dad. I doubt I’ll ever finish it but if I do it will be a gift for my sibs, my sons, and my grandchildren. Until then I’ll continue to write short stories about the memories I have of growing up in this world I know as “my life”.

I hope you will continue to follow this blog. I also hope you will continue to forgive and accept my prolonged absences when they occur. I have a tendency to allow myself to drift into a pretty dark funk on occasion. When this happens it’s best that I not write. I’ve tried before and the general reaction is, “Please don’t write when you’re depressed”...and so I don’t. I’m not depressed now and hope it won’t come back anytime soon. Thank you for your patience.