When I arrived to begin first grade, I had already formed an independent nature that was far older than my actual years. The morning of my first ever school day – there had been no preschool or kindergarten – I happily pulled on a store bought dress. This was a treat because Mama made most of my clothes, and often they were sewed from scraps of fabrics she had left from other projects. In my new dress, I paraded into the kitchen where Mama asked what I wanted for breakfast. Like most country-raised people, she cooked a big hot breakfast every morning – buttermilk biscuits, ham, red eye or cream gravy, eggs and grits. “I’ll just have coffee,” I replied. I was six. I had been drinking coffee since I was a toddler when Mama would put a tablespoon into my sippy cup because I was always begging for her cup of coffee.