All the stories I’ve written, my kids love them. They want me to write about my farm life as a young kid.
The older ones have been to my parents’ farm, but never had to do any work.
I recall the first few days — it was so exciting. Then, as the oldest of three boys, I found I had work to do, lots of work.
My mom and dad were raised on a farm in Pound, Va. I had never been on a farm
We had no indoor plumbing or electricity, and our outhouse was a good distance to walk. Our drinking water was from a spring on the hillside. I knew I was going to be busy.
I learned to shoot my dad’s gun to keep the hawks away from our 200 chickens, and to gather their eggs at the end of the day.
When Mom told me I would be milking one of the two cows, I knew I was in trouble. I also had to slop the hogs.
Watching over two younger brothers while walking the four-mile round trip to Burdine School was another job for me.
Then in planting time, plow the field behind an old mule where the rows looked a mile long.
With my dad laid off from the mines, we had to grow produce to sell and to live on. Farming was a seven days a week job.
Most of the folks living in Cane Branch Hollow were poor like we were. Later, when I was playing sports, farming always came first.
I can now say that those were some of the best years of my life. All the places I’ve been, and all the things I’ve done, do not compare to my eight years on that farm and all of our fine neighbors we had.
(Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in California.)