The Farm Chronicles: Bike Adventures

Griffith Road is a one-mile diagonal stretch between former Route 627 (now 225) and McClintocksburg Rd. Our farm was in the middle of it. Growing up, it was a rare occasion to see two cars travel that road during the day. I might see tractors, even a team of horses pulling a wagon, or a loose cow or two meandering through the ditch near the hole in the fence they just created. It was generally a quiet road with six farms feeding into it. Mom was worried about me riding my bike on the road because she didn’t want me to get hit by a car. Gradually, I convinced her that she was responsible enough to keep an eye out for a passing car or farm truck. This opened the door to many adventures.

I loved cycling to the end of the road, either end. At the west end was the dairy farm of Wilbur and Joyce Tomlinson. Joyce’s birthday was the same day as mine, only she was my mother’s age. Joyce was a lovely woman. Wilbur was a tough, no-nonsense farmer. During the summer hay season, my older brothers would often get a call to come help Wilbur put up his hay. They were very reluctant because he was a taskmaster. Before we got to West End Tomlinson’s, there was McClure’s. They had land on both sides of the road and two houses. They rented a house and lived in the other. It was often cookie stops along the route on certain days, maybe even cake.

In front of our farm was a large field. It had an obstructed path from the road across the field, through a gate and into the paddock of Clayte and Edna Jones’ beautiful Victorian farmhouse. Sometimes it was very difficult walking across the field, up a slight hill, then having to stop to open the gate, ride my bike through it and make sure I closed the gate so the cows wouldn’t get out. Then walk the rest of the way to the house. Edna—Mrs. Jones, he treated me like I was his own son. He loved to invite me into his kitchen, which looked like something out of the late 19th century with the old wood stove. Now, those were some championship cookies that came out of that old oven. At the east end lived Mr. and Mrs. Tomlinson, an elderly couple who had a small farm. Mrs. Tomlinson always appreciated him stopping by.

She would also have freshly baked cookies and would often ask me to visit. They also sold eggs and regularly sent me to cycle there to get two dozen eggs. Once there was no one at home. I knocked on the door. No answer Through the glass, I saw the eggs on the kitchen table. I went in, put the dollar on the table and looked for the eggs. When I got home and mom found out what I was doing, she was furious. She said I had no right to enter anyone’s home unless invited and that I had to go back, return the eggs and apologize. Mrs. Tomlinson was very kind and understood the lesson that mother was teaching. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Teach a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” To this day, I am respectful of people’s privacy and property because of that lesson. But cookies are still hard to resist!

Have a happy and powerful day!
Bill Wilson

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