Sunday, December 20, 2009

A story continued

I would come back to visit with my grandparents a few more times before we moved to Whynot NC
In all those visits I would see Dot as well.
There was one visit where I took Mark after he and I married.
I thought he should see the mountains, now this is where you should all belly laugh- I thought the "hill" behind the farm was a mountain. You have to remember I grew up in the flat lands and on the coast of Va.
Mark did set me straight and take me to see real mountains, but that would be another story with a 1956 pick-up truck and camping across county not today.
We stopped in to visit with Dot and Walter.
Walter was off somewhere and Dot and the gang who worked and apprenticed there at the time were all in the courtyard having a laugh fest.
It was so funny and striking to me to see this person who was my mother's age hanging with the crowd so to speak.
It is that point where you see an adult more as a person and not just a friend of the grandmothers.
I would see the Dot and Water again when my grandfather passed away.
They were there to help hold the family together in any way they could.
I went to see Dot again on a to visit with my grandmother after my grandfather passed away.
I would go see Dot in the shop, she at her place on the wheel.
I was there to buy gifts for my friends back in Tenn. where we lived at that time.
Some NC pottery to take back, in many ways to take back a piece of my past.
I would not see Dot again until we moved to NC in the summer of 1976.

We moved to the farm in one weekend. Then we packed up my grandmother using a borrowed horse trailer, Mark, Brother Chris and his wife would move her to Va. into a house close to my mother.
Here I was with a 3 month old baby alone on the farm for the first time.
It was surreal.
This had been the place that I and my 4 siblings, spent all our summers.
The place where I would wake to my grandfather tapping my foot to say, "the cows are out." Which meant get up and come with me I need you to help.
or " a fence is down."
Again, you just got up pulled on clothes and went.
It was the place I learned to ride a horse ( not well but I got on), herd cows, work in tobacco, cut grass with a riding lawn mower, watch hay being baled, corn growing, fed ducks and chickens, learned about snakes, learned to swim and bait a hook for fish, rode out in he night on the back of a pick-up truck with the stars shinning or under a full moon.
For a city girl it was everything the city was not.
It was the place where I would wake to the smell of coffee, bacon and cantaloupe.
I would go down from upstairs to find my grandfather standing at the kitchen counter in his undershirt and pants, his hat on his head, some sweat on his brow taking his break.
A cup of coffee, some bacon and cantaloupe.
He would chuckle and say things like," hey sleepy head its time to be up. I have been out in the field for hours and here you are just getting out of bed."
He would have been up with the chickens.

There would be chores to be done, but, then, in the afternoon, hours of swimming or fishing in the pond.
The best part of this is I did it along with my two older brothers, older sister and my youngest sister. We spent some great times on the farm. In many ways it brought us together to share something we did not have at home.
Here we could not just run off and see our friends, here we had to make our own entertainment.
Play records, dance in the basement, run all over the farm and of course spend hours swimming or fishing.
Now here I was I would be living in my place of memories. It would be years before I could drive up and not expect my grandparents to walk out to greet me.
This would become my home.
A place I raised two kids, had my own animals, and became a potter.
I'll get back to that.
A bite at a time.


Annapants! said...

Shit. Crying again... it was a magical place when I was a kid. Sometimes, it still is.

Linda Starr said...

Once when we visited Arkansas we asked a guy where Petit Jean State park was, we were going to a car show there. He said we couldn't miss it because we would see a 6000 ft mountain in the distance and head for it, we looked and looked, the hill was only 1000 ft. We were used to California mountains at 10,000 feet now that is a mountain. What a great place you lived as a child and now as an adult.

Shortstuff said...

Those summers were fun. I always liked it when the thunderstorms would roll in and the electricity would go out and we'd end up playing monopoly or cards for hours by candlelight.

Shortstuff said...

I still do a double take at that picture of Pop. Brother Chris looks so much like him.

Barbara said...

Seems like the grandparents are still there with you. Such rich memories of place and people.

I have great memories of staying at my grandparents' farm in West Virginia. Always wish it had stayed in the family, but they died while I was too young to do anything about it. My dad and his brothers were glad to be off the farm and couldn't wait to sell it.

Judy Shreve said...

I have enjoyed this story! What a magical place you live -- full of family history. It must take your breath away some days. said...

I had very similar trips to my grandparents very little farm in the summer, it was a magical place for a "beach girl". No brothers and sisters, but my cousins would come and play with me just like you and your family did. This all sounds so familiar to me.

Anonymous said...

another lovely addition to the story. i'm sad because i think those kind of days are gone though. i grew up in a rural area (although i didn't work tobacco until i moved to ky) and now my daughter lives in the city. the swimming and fishing just takes me back though.

cookingwithgas said...

Jim- someday you and the bug will need to come here and see cows and fish in the pond.
Tracey our paths are not done crossing yet.
Judy I pinch myself quite often and tell folks we know we are spolied.
Shortstuff and Anna- you have your own memories that we all share.
Linda- I can't wait until you are coming down the driveway to stay with us.
I'll dig up another memory soon.