As a child, I spent most of my summer days under the apple tree at my grandparents’ house, making frog houses out of mud and avoiding being stung by the yellow jackets feasting on fallen apples. Both good and bad memories were made there. From playing tag with my sister to getting in trouble for throwing rocks at my cousin, we were just kids and life was simple then.
Do your chores, make good grades, listen to your elders, and say, “yes ma’am, no ma’am” and “yes sir, no sir”. If we followed these rules, we would be rewarded with an ice cream from the Berry Patch or a visit to Castlewood Park. With ice cream on our faces and splinters in our hands, we were the happiest, we were as free as we could have ever been.
We were the youngins’ of Richmond County. Now business is growing and the youngins’ are turning into adults. As an adult, I spend most of my summer days in Chapel Hill working hard to finish my degree; however, I always find my way back to Rockingham. Spending weekends swimming in Ledbetter Lake, kayaking down Hitchcock Creek, and having cookouts with family and friends.
Although I am an adult now, I find my childhood experience intertwining itself with adult experiences. I still visit the Berry Patch and Castlewood Park occasionally, but now I get to watch the “new youngins” experience the town that I grew up loving. I can only hope that they experience the same love, happiness, and freedom I did. With ice cream still on my face, I am the happiest and as free as I can be.