I lived in small city all my life and I didn’t know much about farming. However, my grandparents lived on a farm and when I would visit them, I did learn a few things. They had a big farm and they raise crops, chickens and hogs. During the school year, I only visited them on Sundays. And since my grandparents believed that Sunday was a day of rest, I never got to help them with chores and didn’t learn much about farming. However, during the summer, Mom and I would go to my grandparents house to help Grandma pick green beans or tomatoes. My job was to pick and once I got finished with that I could go play. I would go find Grandpa in the tobacco patch or feeding the hogs, and talk to him for a while. Then after a few minutes, I would go stand on my big rock and practice my singing.
If I was still there late in the afternoon, Grandma would let would let me feed the chickens. I loved feeding those chickens. Grandma had a little basket that she would put the feed in and she would hand it to me and tell me to call the chickens. I would call them just like Grandma had taught me; “Here chick; Here chick”, and those chickens would come running. I’d take a hand full of feed and sprinkle some here, then sprinkle some there until it was all gone. Grandma said I was a good chicken caller and a good little helper.
One thing about my Grandmother is that she was the best cook in the world. Every time we visited, she always had plenty of food. She would have ham and fried chicken; all kinds of vegetables, biscuits and corn bread and she always had a chocolate pie just for me. I swore if I ever ran away from home, I would go live with Grandma. My grandparents were old fashion and when we gathered at their house on Sundays, or any holiday, the men ate first and when they were finished, the women and children ate. Every now and then Grandpa would take his time eating so he could sit with all of us. Grandpa was a big cut-up, I think he enjoyed this time with all the grandchildren. One Sunday, after the men got finished eating, the rest of us sat down to eat. Grandpa was sitting there eating and he was telling Grandma how good the meal had been. I decided to express my opinion, so I got in on the conversation. I looked over at Grandma and smiled and said, “Grandma, this is the best chicken I believe I have ever had. It is delicious! Where did you get it?” Everyone got quiet and they all looked at me then they looked at Grandma. Grandpa giggled and looked at Grandma waiting for her to answer my question. I will never forget what Grandma said that day. She looked at me and said, “Oh, that’s one of the old hens that quit laying, so I made good use of her.” Grandpa laughed again and Mom began to laugh. I wasn’t sure what was so funny, so I just sat there with a puzzled look on my face. After a couple of minutes, I started to take another bite of chicken; then, it hit me. I looked at Grandpa who was still laughing, then looked at Grandma and said, “Is one of your chickens?” Grandma didn’t have to answer because I had already figured it out. You know, I am borderline genius. Anyway, I didn’t eat chicken for a long time after that. Come to find out, the ham I switched to was also from their farm. I swear, if I didn’t like meat so much, I would have become a vegetarian.
My grandparents were always inviting me to spend the night with them. I didn’t like being away from home at night, so I never wanted to stay with anyone. One day Grandma really wanted me to stay, so I finally gave in and told her, yes, I would spend the night. Everything went fine for while; then it got dark. My grandparents didn’t have an inside toilet and if you had to go, you had to go to the out-house. That night, I think I had to pee a hundred times. It was pitch black outside and since I wasn’t about to go out there by myself, Grandma had to go with me. After about the fifth or sixth time, I could tell she was getting pretty tired of it.
Mom had sent a board game called Candyland with me so we would have something to do. Grandma had never played before, so she read the directions and I tried to explain the rules as we played. I don’t know why, but I was always pretty good with games and I won a lot. She was the green piece and I was the red piece; I always chose red. We were having a pretty good time and Grandma was getting the hang of it. Then it happened. I drew a card that took me straight to Gum Drop Mountain. Well I commenced to move my red piece to Gum Drop Mountain, and Grandma said, “What are you doing? You can’t do that.” Knowing that she hadn’t seen this type of card before, I tried to explain that there are certain cards that let you move forward or backward to certain locations. If your piece is in front of the place, then you have to move back, and if your piece is behind the place you get to move up. She just didn’t get it. What she did get was mad. She got mad and accused me of cheating. She said she wasn’t going to play with a little cheat and started putting the game away. I insisted that I was not cheating and suggested that she read the rules again. She sent me to bed.
Mom had told them I was afraid of the dark, so they had fixed me up a bed on the floor beside their bed. I remember lying there wondering how in the world Grandma could think I was cheating. How could anyone possibly cheat playing Candyland? They went to bed shortly after me and pretty soon I could hear Grandpa snoring, and I had to pee. I had to pee and Grandma was mad at me. I sure wasn’t going outside by myself so I manage to forget about peeing and finally fell asleep. I don’t know how long I was asleep, but when I woke up it was still dark and I had to pee really bad. If Grandma was still mad she would have to get over it. Anyway she would be even madder if I peed the bed. I woke her up and she took me out, and I peed and we went back to bed.
I finally fell asleep, then woke up again before daylight. I heard Grandpa get up and he was putting his shoes on. I got up to see what he was doing and he said he couldn’t sleep for that frog croaking. I listened, and sure enough I heard that frog. Grandpa went outside and I was trying to watch him to see what he was doing. It was too dark so I couldn’t see anything. I couldn’t imagine what in the world he would be doing out there in the dark. Maybe he had to pee. Just as I was about to go lay back down, I heard a loud thump against the house. A minute later, Grandpa came in and took his shoes off. I laid back down and listened for the frog. I guess he had scared that frog off because I didn’t hear it anymore. A couple of years later, I found out what happened to that poor frog.
Believe me, that was the longest night in my life. I loved my Grandma and Grandpa dearly, but I never wanted to spend the night with them again. Mom never forced me to either. I was just fine visiting them during the daytime while Mom was there. Come to think of it, I don’t think Grandma and Grandpa ever asked me to spend the night with them again after that. Come to think of it, Grandma never played another game with me again – ever.