Girls Raised In The South.  Yep.  That’s me.  The picture is of us four girls (two brothers not pictured here, I’m on the far right).  We are sassy, kind, playful, determined, and are darn good cooks.  All of us.  Did I like growing up in the South?  Nope.  Not really.  A mormon girl growing up in the Bible belt…well sometimes it was interesting.  However.  I wouldn’t change a thing.  It was the beginning of many experiences that taught me many lessons in life, and shaped the girl who left home at age 17 to go take care of a dying great uncle who lived 2,000 miles away.  It was the foundation that has made me who I am, for better or for worse.  And… I have the BEST memories!  My Grandma was there, the only Grandparent I ever really knew, and I still miss her.  Ballet was there, one of the few places where I found refuge and confidence.   Life happened there, over and over again.  We never had much money, but we were rich.  In fact.  It speaks volumes to my parents that I didn’t even know we were “poor” until I was in High School.  We lived on a small farm, I milked goats at 6 in the morning (and hated it), stepped in chicken poop every. single. Sunday. (and hated it).  The muddy dog jumped on me at least four times a week, on the outfit I’d meticulously chosen for the day (and I hated it).  We chopped wood to feed the wood stove, the only source of heat in the winters.  We took long bike rides with Papa on lazy summer afternoons….  My kids love the stories.  “Tell the one when the goat peed on your head” they’ll say.  And I usually oblige.  Here are a few things I learned in the South.

  1. Southern hospitality is real.  We love having people over and making them feel at home.
  2. What you see is what you get.  We aren’t good fakers.  And whatever is in our head, generally comes out our mouth.  It takes decades sometimes to build those filters.
  3. “You better pick up your butt and run!”  Yep we got spanked.  And none of us are going to therapy for it as adults either.  We learned right from wrong, and respected ALL adults in our lives.
  4. You can take the girl out of the South, but not the South out of the girl.  I haven’t lived in the South for almost thirty years now.  And there are times when I still pull out the southern accent…when I’m talking to my folks on the phone, when I’m teasing, and when I’m angry.  If the kids ever hear Southern, they generally know they’d better do #3.
  5. “Bless her heart” is something you’ll hear a lot there.  It doesn’t mean what it says.  It’s code for “man is she stupid.”

However much I love living in the Rocky Mountains and I call this my home, I am glad I grew up where I did, in the family I did, in the circumstances I did.  It was a great childhood.  And I’m proud to be a GRITS!

Cheers!  Oma

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