Growing up in a family with eight children, myself being the youngest, every time we went somewhere it was like an invasion!One of our favorite places to land, was Fairy Stone State Park.
The lake at Fairy Stone State Park
My mother would spend Saturday preparing a picnic and then as soon as church got out on Sunday we would leave from our home in N.C. to spend the day at the park. Most of the time my parents still wore their dress clothes to the park. Many adults did at that time.
My sister-in-law Lynnette, me, my Mother and Father. Someone must have surprised us by the looks on our faces!
We loved to eat!
We would swim in the lake, play on the beach, hike the trails, and of course, hunt for Fairy Stones! My brothers would bring their wives and children and sometimes my sisters would bring a friend. My sisters were way too smart to bring a boyfriend around my five brothers, especially since a couple of my brothers were straight from Paris Island!
The swimming beach at the lake
My father with two of is 13 grandchildren
When we were younger, we would camp at Fairy Stone with my father. My mother was not a camper or maybe she was just a very intelligent woman, a weekend to herself without eight kids and all their friends! Those were the days before structured campsites so you basically just pitched a tent where you wanted. (Bad for the land, now we know better) One particular time we chose a spot right next to the lake. It rained that night, and rained and rained. In the middle of the night we realized our campsite had become part of the lake and we were floating away, everything was drenched! Now as my brothers and sisters read this, they will be exclaiming, “what do you mean we, you were nice and dry inside the International!” And that is true! I was upset because Dad said I had to sleep in the back of the truck that had a camper shell and not in a tent. The next morning while my water logged family gathered around the campfire looking bedraggled, I told them I felt I had missed out on a great adventure. They thought, as siblings often do, that I had lost my mind!
My mother and father with my nephew B.J. My mother loved babies. She lived to see some of her great grandchildren and even a great great grand child come into this world. I have 22 great nieces and nephews and 3 great greats to date.
They were such fun times that I will always remember, even though we were from North Carolina, Virginia State Parks was a wonder filled part of my childhood. Fairy Stone will always hold a special place in my heart. Who knew I would grow up to work for Virginia State Parks!
Go out and create some memories of your own by visiting one of Virginia's 35 beautiful state parks.
Thank you to my brother Bernie and his wife Lynnette for the family photos from the 1970's!