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Where I am from . . .

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Julie Canniff

on 19 September 2013

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Transcript of Where I am from . . .

Where I am from . . .
Next to our names, the most important influence on our identity is where we call 'home.'
David Orr states that ". . . humans are inescapably place-centric, shaped in important ways by the localities of our birth and upbringing" p. 160)
Your stories about 'home' often reveal much about your personality, and your sense of humor and of course, your family.
New Mexico
Tokay, NM
The town had a cemetery, a general store, a bar, a school, adobe houses for couples, a bunkhouse for single men, and the Kinney family home.
My mother and her four brothers had to go to Socorro when they entered 6th grade. My grandfather bought a stage coach to transport them to town and back.
My story about what place means to me covers four states and many years. It is fundamental to understanding who I am and how I come to be where I am today.
Around the turn of the 20th century, my grandfather founded a coal mining town and he and my grandmother raised 5 children in the desert of southwest New Mexico
The school house was located above the bar. It housed grades K-5
I was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the third generation in my family to call this state, "home."

But . . . I spent the next two years in Mississippi, my father's home, the third generation in my family to call this state my second home.
The last time I visited the farm was in 1963, just before I went off to college.
My cousins lived across the road, and every summer when we visited, we swam in the lakes, road horses, caught snapping turtles, and pestered the farm animals around us
My father's home was a farm in Mississippi. We lived there for two years before moving back to New Mexico
When I left to go to college in 1963, I returned mostly in the summer to spend time in Albuquerque.

My mother sold the house in 2005, and currently lives three blocks away.
All the neighborhood kids were friends -- my brother and I played endless ball games in a hidden park across the street, built tree houses in the back yard, roller skated, and raised a succession of dogs and cats.
Our first house in Albuquerque was on Mackland Street. I lived in there from 1947 to 1959

1947 to present
Just before I entered high school, my parents built a new house near the university -- it was the only adobe style house in the neighborhood and the back yard bordered the university golf course. We owned this house until 2005.
When I re-married, my husband and I bought a house across the street and I went off to graduate school in Cambridge.

After college, my first husband and I settled in Maine in 1972. We built a house in Port Clyde.

It was here that I developed the skills and interests which form my identity as an adult -- I learned to weave, to garden, to teach dance, and to serve in leadership roles for non-profit organizations.
After my divorce, I moved to Rockport. I lived in and managed the Schoolhouse Apartments, overlooking the harbor. I also began working for the Island Institute, where I ran a program for Island Schools for six years
Rockport gardens
. . . but when I returned to Maine each summer, I spent hours every day teaching myself how to design and build gardens full of vegetables, fruits and flowers. I know the real names of the plants, the trees, and the weeds. I have kept journals for more than ten years in which I record my gardening successes and failures
My intellectual home from 1991 to 1999 was in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

I lived there while completing my masters and doctorate at Harvard University.
To Cambridge and back to Maine
Home for me is New Mexico and the generations of my family who have and still live there
Home is also Maine -- the friends and family who live here
Falmouth Gardens
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