Nov 2, 2006 | Life in Progress

me and nana. 8 yrs old.

wrote my first press release today for the upcoming festival. and with the help of my very best friend gina, wrote a bio. also updated my website with new SHOP & BIO details.

i spent a lot of time today thinking about the the few years i spent growing up in keystone, florida – a tiny, rural north florida town with one stop light, one grocery store, one dollar store, and a million lakes and churches. we moved there when i was 7 and we left a couple of years after my step father passed away. i was 10 when we left. it was only 3 years or so, but that little town left quite and impression on me. those were my most impressionable years. and they were hard ones, too, after he passed away. the memories having been coming to me all day: swimming in the lake after school, the sounds of the crickets at night, the grits my nana made for me every single morning, the endless games of checkers i played with my granddad and how he never, not once, let me win. the pecan trees, the dirt roads, the cheerleading skits performed in front of nana, granddad, and all the elderly neighbors. maybe that’s why i have such an affinity for the elderly. they were everywhere in those years. mrs dixon lived next door and she’d spoil us with treats that sometimes left nana jealous. i remember nana’s handwriting. it was perfect cursive. it was because of her teachings that i won the award for best handwriting in the third grade. in those years i’d wake up early before school and go fishing with granddad. the lake was perfectly still and flat. i had my own bamboo fishing stick and i’d make bait made from a mixture of flour and water. oh, how exciting it was when i actually caught something. we’d all watch little house on the prairie, and the price is right everyday. nana took me to the local baptist church on sundays. i don’t remember much about church except that we’d pick up fried chicken on the way home every single sunday. that was the best part. the fried chicken and the buttery biscuits. it was a time of adventure. living on a lake, with dirt roads, forts in the woods, snakes and alligators to worry about. nana and grandad have since passed, but i’ve always felt a connection to nana. she’s with me always, even now as i write this. she was gentle, kind, comforting soul.

Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (7 comments)
  1. Patry Francis

    Oh, this was wonderful. My story with my nana is different in the details, but the same at heart.

  2. Anonymous

    your story transported me back to that place and time, beautiful.

    making bait of flour and water and catching fish,?!! i always had to use worms or minnows.

    i understand what you mean about your nana always being with you – i feel that way about my mom, she’s always close to my heart.

  3. lisa

    So beautifully written Kelly, you took me to the little town with your words! Thanks you for another glimpse into the experiences that make you who you are today. Love and miss you!

  4. Laini Taylor

    Kelly, you haven’t changed a bit since you were 8 — you look just the same! I still do too, or so I am told when people see pictures of me as a child. It’s a good thing! Those years sound like something out of a childhood from another century almost, or out of To Kill a Mockingbird. Wonderful post!

  5. gina

    i have to say- that is one rockin’ bio! and the stories about granddad and nana are always fun to hear.

  6. Anonymous

    what a beautiful, beautiful post– I’ve never been to north florida but the way you described it was so evocative I feel like I know it


  7. britt

    that’s such a beautiful story! i don’t know many people who grew up like that, and it’s so interesting to hear what you went through. thanks kelly! they sound amazing.


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I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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