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.


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