Monthly Archives: December 2010

Here guinea, guinea, guinea


I never expected myself to have the desire to search for guineas, much less did I think I would be hunting them down to take a picture of them.

A few weeks ago, the two feature writers on my newspaper were writing an article about Christmases gone wrong. One of the stories included a guinea. I knew my neighbors down the road had them, so I went looking for them for photo purposes. However, it turned all the guineas were gone. They always wondered on the road, and I guess they were what you could call a free-range guinea. Sorta like with chickens, only with a guinea this time.

I made the observation that yes, the guineas had died. Gone to guinea heaven or where ever those little birds go when they pass on to the other side. Yesterday, though, they were back. And there were more guineas than there were the last time. I almost ran over them and figured they would have the same luck as their fellow brethren.

As I told the girl who wrote the story about my siting, I had an idea. I would go take a picture of one as joke. Well, the joke’s on me now. Today, I saw them as I leaving my house and figured they would still be in the same spot when I returned. Wrong. I was wrong.

I pulled over on the little side road to get out searching for them. I felt awkward. I had no idea who these people were that owned them, and I was looking for their birds. I saw chickens. I saw roosters. But no. I didn’t see guineas. Right as I was about to give up and turn back to head home, all the guineas come running down the driveway. I started laughing. Yes. Here they come. Now, I can get my picture and leave.

Wrong. Wrong . Wrong and wrong. That was not the case at all. While I was sitting there laughing at these silly, little birds their owner walks out the front door. Nothing good generally comes out of people catching you no matter how innocent the act may be at the time. The woman asked if I was looking for something. Well, I was. I was looking for her birds. But I was not going to tell that.

Hm. My cat. That seemed feasible right? Every good mystery book I have ever read uses that line. I thought why not. Let’s see how this goes. I told the lady I was looking for my black cat and that her name was Midnight. I did have a cat named Midnight once who ran away in the fifth grade. The lady was kind. She believed my story. And I did apologize.

Needless to say, I feel bad. Feel bad that I was not honest about my true animal searching intentions. I should have just told her I was trying to take a picture of her guineas. Yes, she would have thought I was weird probably. It’s not like people go around on a daily basis looking for those birds. However, the truth is always better than lie no matter how small or weird.


Ice storms and grits


Southern girls eat grits.

After my local weather station declared ice was headed our way I could only think of one thing: grits. In fact the combination of grits and ice takes me back. Way back 12 years ago to 1998. Yes, I was indeed five. However, that does not mean I don’t vividly remember what took place.

Two days before Christmas in 1998, ice showered down upon my Tennessee world causing it to be a true winter wonderland. Just not the kind you want to sing about. We had no power. No TV. No stove. No nothing.  I remember not wanting to leave on our gas logs in fear of burning Santa Claus as he came down the chimney.

That frigid Christmas morning came and went and somehow Santa came to my house despite us leaving the fire to keep us warm. I was truly kicking Christmas in a Lauren Ingalls Wilder style. Well, I doubt Laura Ingalls had the new Barbie horse stable and carriage, but still. I had no electricity, and my outside world was icy and cold.

However, I don’t remember being bored, but I do remember eating grits. Lots and lots of grits. Generators were the item to have at your house. Thankfully, my grandmother’s friend down the hill had one. Over the course of those five days without power, we would I guess you could say hang out at her house for awhile.

To keep me entertained, those pair of grandmothers did one thing: feed me. And bowl after bowl of grits I ate. I don’t even recall remotely liking them at all before then, but I am pretty sure I went through a whole box of the jumbo sized Quaker grits.  I am sure they would have actually fed me something else  if I asked. Perhaps even a good bowl of mac and cheese but no. I requested grits. And only grits. Why? I am not sure. But this five year old southern child definitely had her fair share.

Thankfully, I wasn’t just reduced to eating grits for the rest of my Christmas break. Once the ice melted and the electric company finally reached the middle of nowhere, our power got turned back. My parents were stripping tobacco while I utilized the big TV in the living room. It’s not everyday the kindergartner gets the big screen to herself.  It was about time I finally got to watch the VHS movie I had been waiting for days to see. Goodbye Laura Ingalls Wilder, hello Madeline. My small world returned to normal, but one thing didn’t change. My love of grits. In fact, writing this has caused me to be hungry. I may go have a bowl right now before the ice hits.