The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

A Day On Grandpa's Farm

By Linda Collins © 1988

Issue: May, 1988

Whenever summer came around, I always looked forward to going to Floyd County, Virginia. My mother, my brother and I went to see my grandparents. We practically always stayed two weeks, but my dad usually stayed at home because he liked city life better. He got bored on the farm. Golfing was his favorite pastime and there aren't too many golf courses in the country. My grandma, Ava Bolt, was in the hospital most of the time. Grandpa, Clark Bolt, had a 90 acre farm in one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. My aunt and uncle, Arthur and Ethel McAlexander, and five cousins lived on the adjoining farm. When we would get to Virginia, we would pick up Grandma and bring her to the farm too.

There was always something to do. Even work seemed like fun to me. Grandpa had two huge gardens, which we worked in and picked the fresh vegetables to cook and eat. There were many fruit trees, and grapevines that grew on the fences surrounding one of the big gardens. Picking the fruit was fun, but eating it was better. I picked berries to eat and for Mom so she could make yummy pies.

Grandpa had a lot of animals on his farm. He had horses, ponies, pigs, hogs, cows, chickens, and dogs and cats. I loved to ride the horses and to play with all of the animals. One day, my Cousin Roger's pony, Trigger, bit me on the knee. I couldn't believe it! I still have the scar. Grandpa let me name a colt once. I named him Sugar. I spoiled him rotten. He would come up on the steps of the trailer and almost inside. He was wanting me to give him sugar cubes. When I came outside one morning, Sugar was eating the upholstery in our car.

Going to the creek was a real adventure, too. My brother and my cousins, and I would catch tadpoles and crawdads, and just wade and play in the water. There was also a man-made pond on the farm. It was big and beautiful. The whole farm was breathtaking.

One day my mother held my brother over the creek, swinging him with one arm and leg and pretending she was going to throw him in. We took a picture of that. It was so funny! One day while we were playing in the creek, we found a large mud-turtle. My grandpa came and got it and killed it. When they prepared it to eat, I just couldn't bring myself to eat it. My brother did, though. He liked it. Mother told me that mud-turtle was supposed to taste like four or five different types of meat. That just didn't seem to matter.

Ever since I was three years old, I have been going to Grandpa's farm every summer. Farm and country life was a lot different from city life, but it was an adventure that I always looked forward to, and will cherish for the rest of my life.