The Passing of Tulee Main starts out speaking of ‘an exceptionally pleasant day’ under a ‘late spring sun’. Lovely image.
Well things have changed.
Again, I’m sitting today in my home on the side of Doe Mountain, unable to reach yet another appointment. It’s happened a lot lately. Public school, I believe, has been out of session for nearly a week and appears to be headed for more cancellations. And, for all that, we are more fortunate than those in many other portions of East Tennessee and the South. The precipitation here is almost entirely snow, some of it heavy, but most of it fairly dry light-weight stuff that’s both easy to shovel and reasonably safe to drive in.
Elsewhere, heavy water-laden snow and ice have downed trees, power lines and structures. An entire marina over in Campbell County went down recently. The boats are now trapped between the water in which they are, sort of, floating and the roofing and timbers that sprawl across them. Travel is, of course, a recurring impossibility on many roads.
In other words, we here in the sunny South are now in about the same predicament that those in much of the mid and northern areas often are. Over all, not much better, not much worse.
But despite that, there is one comforting, emotionally and physically uplifting thing supporting us here in the mountains and elsewhere throughout Dixie that those others typically lack. And that one thing is:
I’m not always much on statistics, but Wikipedia tells me that three quarters of all grits sold in the US are bought in the South (Texas to Virginia) in what Wiki insists is sometimes called the “grits belt”. Who knew?
What I do know is that a bowl of steaming grits, maybe with a little fruit mixed in, sitting right next to a plate of hot sausage is a great start for a day. That’s especially true of a cold, dark maybe otherwise miserable day. Believe me, grits will fix that sort of thing.
This is one of those treasures that make the South so worthwhile. But I don’t think we should be exclusionary about it. It may be true that stores in three fourths of the country don’t stock them but they’re readily available on the internet. Don’t delay. Get some.
They come in ‘white’ and ‘yellow’ (I prefer the yellow) and from a wide range of producers – all of which proudly claim their grits are the best (kind of the ‘real grits’ sort of thing.) Some are coarser than others; some take longer to prepare (the range seems to be around ten minutes up to, perhaps, an hour and a half), some come with the family history on the side of the bag; others are more restrained. Anyway, you can pick and choose from the supplies available until you feel yourself to be expert in the field and capable of making your own claims about how to fix grits.
Best of luck.
Comment at will.
(This post is intended to complement the narrative and views expressed in “The Passing of Tulee Main”. To learn more about the book, press the ‘Main Site Home Page’ link at the top of this post. (Beyond the on-site material there, the Nook, Kindle and Amazon links have sample chapters available to view.)