Pint Sized Adventurers

Ed Sharrow
6 min readJun 25, 2019

Run. Run. Run. Not out of fear but out of the frustration growing from disappointment and sadness. Run to something better. Run from something painful.

Me with one of my favorite toys at that age.

The idea of going to a better place when things weren’t going well, began at a young age for me. My father Darwin worked for Ralston Purina company selling grain and agricultural supplies to farmers during my earliest years. Due to demands from management behind the red and white check square, Ralston Purina’s company logo, Darwin moved our family from Williamstown, Vermont to Bernardston, Massachusetts when I was about three years old. I wasn’t aware of what was happening when my parents packed up our little A-frame home that was located next door to my grandparents’ white house. The family farm where my mother was raised.

Even at three years old, I had several things that I already enjoyed on the hillside in Williamstown. We lived in a two-story A-frame house. The sloping roof was windowless but provided fun nooks to crawl into. Some bedrooms were above the kitchen and bathroom and a narrow, wooden staircase led up to the second floor. There was the Old Henry Road, a dirt road little more than one lane wide beside the A-frame. It’s paved now and the A-frame was replaced years ago, so don’t bother looking for them. The dirt road extended back into the woods past other rural farm houses. Beside that road there were moss covered rocks under a canopy of tall trees. A stream that ran hard during the spring snow melt created a lush environment for unusual plants. Two plants that amazed me were fiddlehead ferns and pitcher plants. My mother Ruth boiled the spring fronds when they were tightly coiled stems of light green. Once boiled and served with butter they tasted like spinach but had the pulp consistency of stems, not leafs. The pitcher plants were small green goblets that caught unaware flies in their sticky insides. My older sisters always encouraged me to look inside and see if the plants had a crunchy dinner in their stew.

My maternal grandmother, grandfather, and my Aunt Rachel still lived in the farmhouse just downhill from the A-frame at that time. Grandma Morse was always happy to see me. She lives on in my memory as unchanging and happy. She was a thin, ancient woman with white hair curled up and away from her face with a permanent hairstyle treatment. She hugged me in her…