Trip to W.V.
  

It was near spring by the time my parents decided to go north to visit my grandparents.  Near spring did not exactly mean spring up there though.  My grandparents lived in West Virginia.  On top of that they did not live anywhere close to

Virginia.  In all actuality they lived closer to Pennsylvania.  It would take us about eight hours to get there.  This would be an agonizing car ride.

My father decided to take the Blazer.  It was a gas guzzler, but the vehicle was big inside and would accommodate my sisters and me better.  Another reason was that it was four-wheel drive, so if we ran into snow there would not be too much trouble.  Though eight hours with my two sisters was creating a hurricane inside my head the idea of seeing my grandparents again after so long calmed the storm and put a smile on my face.

The car ride in itself was not that bad.  I slept most of the way there.  When I could sleep that is.  Between being hit with a pillow or doll and the “He’s to close to me...”  When I was not asleep I could not help but stare off into the depths of the mountainside.  The trees were starting to turn green again, but the ones that were trying to hold onto winter still had a little color left in them. 

This was nothing like driving through the city.  There were no McDonalds or forty floor buildings.  It was just trees and the mountains.  Nature’s colors came alive.  I wondered to myself why there were not more places like this.

Eventually we arrived to an old rickety red covered bridge.  This was proof that we were almost there.  The bridge was worn and beaten by time.  Everyone I knew that had ever visited my grandparents carved there name there.  I had carved my name there many times before and would again this trip. 

Before I could say it my mother belted out, “Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice,

Beetlejuice.”  We all threw our legs into the air and held our breath as we passed through the short bridge.  When we had helped our grandparents move here years ago we had watched the movie “Beetlejuice”.  There was a bridge that looked exactly like it in the movie except that no one was afraid of this one.  The goofy tradition had stuck. 

We slowly drove between the two enormous mountains along the two lane road that was really the size of a one lane road.  Right before we arrived at my grandfather’s house the bright yellow line in the center became a circle shaped blob.  Apparently the person that was given the job of painting the road stripe agreed that it was a waste of time and went on there way. 

My heart pounded as we came around the corner and saw their house.  My grandfather was sitting on the porch rocking in his chair and smiling.  It was as if he knew the very moment we were to arrive and was ready to greet us.  I could barely contain myself and rushed to get out of the vehicle only to land face first in the dirt as my sisters plowed over me like starving cows stampeding to fresh feed. 

I had already lost the race to my grandparent’s arms and thus decided to help my parents unload our belongings.  It was a bit chillier here than back home and there was still a lot of color to the trees on my grandfather’s property.  Winter was not finished here yet and that was a fact.  I had to put on my red flannel jacket.  Unfortunately it was the only one I had brought with.  I did not think that it would be this cold.

After bringing in the luggage and saying hello to my grandparents it was time for a break.  This is when I usually run off somewhere for a walk or just take a look around at my new surroundings for a little while.  My grandparent’s property was a little different from most.  When arriving there is a large Victorian house on a small piece of property close to the road, but behind that house is another property.

I walked out the back of the house to a small porch and found my grandfather sitting there.  He told me that there were some new additions to the back property and that I would figure it out when I went over.  To get to the back property I had to cross a small “crick” by going over a short walking bridge.  The problem with that was that it was so old you never knew if your next step was going into the water.

That was definitely someplace you did not want to go.  Each house had a little pipe that ran down to the crick and stuff was always coming out of it.  I didn’t know what it was or for that matter where it came from, but I surely didn’t want to get into it.  

There was another big house at the top of a small hill.  It sat right at the bottom of a “King Kong” mountain, and to the left was the “holler.”  It was explained to me from family members that a holler is like a valley between two mountains but smaller, and at the edge of that holler was a giant red barn.  Unfortunately you had to cross another section of the crick to get to it.

I on the other hand I would not even get close to it.  I had barely stepped onto the cotton soft grass and looked to the right when I noticed it.  Bertha, the demon chicken from HELL!!  It was actually a rooster, but that did not make a difference to me.  It stood there staring me down, as if to draw his gun any second and blow me away. 

He had to be three feet tall.  His neck stretched out and feathers ruffled.  They were red and black.  It was like he had crawled right out of the fiery clutches of the Devil’s hands.  I had no idea what to do.  I never really dealt with many farm animals before.  There was no time though.  Before I could even move that demon with wings was after me.  I ran for my life back to the bridge where I would be safe. 

The bird did not follow me onto the bridge, and I was able to catch my breath. 

My grandfather though was a different story.  He was rolling around on the floor of the porch as my parents and grandmother were quickly shuffled through the door.  His face was bright red and he could barely regain himself from all the laughter. 

He had seen the entire predicament.  It was very embarrassing.  He finally regained himself, and then my parents who were now laughing themselves into a coma. 

My grandfather tried to explain to me that it was not my fault.  He had failed to inform me that roosters do not like the color red, and that if I took off my jacket and went back over there the rooster would not react so unkindly again.

Needless to say I did not go back over there again that evening.  I do not think I actually went over there very much at all that trip.  I spent most of the time on the front property with the people I loved.  It was such an embarrassing memory, but it was important.  My grandfather is not with us anymore, and to remember him in such a way brings happiness to my heart.  I can only hope that it will be that way when I am no longer here. 

                


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