When I was young, some of the days that I looked forward to, Iím sure my father and brother did not.
These were the days when there was a break from farm work, and Dad harnessed the horses to the old lumber wagon. My Dad, brother Gaylord, and I climbed into the wagon and drove the horses to a lush wooded area on our farm.
My father searched for the tree that was ďjust right,Ē and unloaded the 2 man saw, and the other hand saws, maul, and wedges, and Gaylord and he went to work, sawing the tree down, trimming it, and sawing it into huge chunks to be thrown in the wagon, and hauled back to the farm to stack in a huge wood pile in the yard, not too far from the house.
This was our only means of providing heat for our home in the winter time, and fuel for the huge cook stove that mother slaved over even in the summer heat.
I enjoyed the bumpy ride up the rutty path to the woods. It was great fun to see if I could keep standing for the ride, as our old lumber wagon had nothing but iron wheels, which certainly didnít add to the comfort of the ride, but at 7 or 8 years of age, who cares? It seemed like a carnival ride, even though I donít think I had ever been on a carnival ride up to that point in my life.
There were no chain saws back then, just backbreaking work for my brother, who was about 12 or 13 years old, and was expected to man one side of the 2-man crosscut saw.
Dad and Gaylord busied themselves with felling the tree and cutting it up while I gallivanted through the woods, chasing butterflies, and picking wild flowers for my mother. After dashing through the woods for some time, I would come back, and if they were down to some of the smaller rounds of wood, I tried to toss that into the wagon. Even the large branches were trimmed and cut into the right lengths.
When the wagon was full, we headed back for home, trying to balance on top of the load of wood. We unloaded the wagon and placed one of the huge chunks of wood in front of the pile to split the pieces on, as they were needed to burn in the stoves. It took many trips to build up the woodpile for the winter that would soon come.
Gaylord ended up splitting most of the wood with an ax or the wood wedges and a mall, and we would carry it into the house and fill a big wood box full. That was one of our chores when we came home from school. It is a good thing that I did not have to cut up the wood, because when I tried it, I was so clumsy that the axe would glance off the wood and head most any direction! I always wanted to try, and it is a wonder that I didnít chop off my leg or Gaylordís. I was very competitive and tried to carry as much wood in my arms as Gaylord did, but I wasnít very successful at that. It took several trips to fill the box when it was winter time.
These memories warm my heart, as they were times when I enjoyed all the beauty that God had supplied, and marveled at His provisions for us, so that we could sit around a warm stove in the evenings. What a mighty God we serve.
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