Unforgettable Memories! “Tommy Toe” tomatoes, Molly the mule, roasted corn from the tobacco barn fires, fruit-laden cherry, apple and pear trees…
Thanks to our grandpa, Robert Owen of Shoals, N.C., we grandchildren learned about roosters, hens, chicks and gathering of eggs from nests. We learned pigs squeal like crazy while eating “pig slop.” Grandpa told us he once saved the life of a newborn pig by giving it a sip of his homebrewed muscadine wine. Tall tale or not, we loved that story.
Cool weather meant hog killing day, with men outside preparing hams for curing, and women inside making sausages, liver puddings and Grandpa’s favorite — pickled pigs’ feet.
Grandpa harvested peanuts and dried them on the flat tin roof of a barn closest to his house.
Everyone followed Grandpa and his tractor up and down long dusty rows, filling feed sacks with potatoes. Cut potatoes went into buckets to be used immediately. Grandpa allowed his grandchildren to sit on the flatbed trailer for a bumpy, but exciting ride to the pack house where the potatoes were stored for winter.
Grandpa plugged watermelons with his pocketknife to check if they were ready to eat. If not, like a puzzle piece, he’d plug it and leave the melon on the vine for later.
Grandpa’s house stands empty. The barns are gone, but memories are priceless!