Boys and Girls

| 10/19/2013 1:19:00 PM

DJKeeping oneself busy during the fall and winter can seem like a daunting task for those of us who are used to being on the go all the time. I do believe that is why so many people in the towns and cities of this great country got hooked on television. (Only my opinion.)

In my household when I was young, even though we lived in town, we didn’t watch television. In fact, we didn’t even own a television until I was about thirteen. So when I started going to Junior High School and High School and the teachers gave us assignments once in a while where we were supposed to watch some documentary relating to history, I would not be able to complete the assignment because we didn’t own a television. Finally, she broke down and got one. Complete with rabbit ears!

Before this I always found things to do to keep myself busy – besides the obvious chores – and often wondered how the other girls found so much time to go to the movies, etc. after their chores were done. That was when I found out that not everybody had the same chores I did.

My most important chore was chopping the wood and bringing it in. You see, we had wood heat, not natural gas or oil. My mother also had a wood cook stove in the kitchen that sat right beside her electric range. She used that wood cook stove in the winter and it would heat up the back part of the house plus she didn’t have to pay for the electricity to use the electric range. She was on a very tight budget so she did what she could to conserve as much as possible. I remember walking home from school and chopping the wood before we ate dinner, or I did my homework. That usually took a couple of hours to make sure there was enough wood cut for the night and the next day, and there was kindling for starting the fire in the morning.

I had a girlfriend whose older brother decided one day that there was no way I could cut more wood than he could. He had never chopped wood before and didn’t know how to tell which pieces would split the easiest or anything. I had been doing this for a few years by then and knew how to tell by looking at it which chunks were dryer than the others and would split the cleanest and easiest. (I guess it was that teenage ego kicking in.)

Anyway, he challenged me to see who could chop the most wood in a specified length of time. I do not remember how long now, but I agreed. I knew I had him beat. I was at their house so we walked on up to my house and I opened the garage doors revealing an almost empty garage. It was early spring by then and so most of the wood had been used over the winter. I grabbed an axe and handed him one and rolled the big old chopping block out into the driveway. Of course, my mother had to come out and see what we were up to. When I told her what we were doing she only shook her head and laughed, and walked back into the house.

10/21/2013 8:26:33 PM

D.J. Yeah, I started life as you describe then at about age 10 we moved to the city and lived the life of ease for a time. When I finished my sophomore year in High School Dad bought an acreage just out of town and immediately came home with a herd of milk cows. Thirteen milking cows at the peak of their production was my responsibility. We separated the milk; kept the cream to sell at the creamery; and fed the skim milk to the feeder pigs. You would have thought we were giving those hogs candy. With milking morning and evening; football practice; and homework on my schedule, there wasn't any time for watching TV or getting into the normal teenage trouble. When I left for college in the middle sixties, my parents still had a console black and white TV. There was only two channels to watch any way and with the outside antenna on a good night we might be able to pick up a third. ***** Pretty funny about out wood chopping the girlfriend's brother. Yeah, us, guys have pretty fragile egos, don't we. The women from our grand parent's generation were tough. They had to be to survive. ***** Have a great modern technology day. (love those flush toilets)

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