This weekend, a big part of my chore list was cutting fire wood. There is storm damage on my property that I've been cleaning up, with help from my dad and neighbors. There is a lot to clean up. My property was hit by a fairly severe wind storm last summer and a glancing blow from a small tornado the year before. We've been attacking the tangled mess with chainsaws, tractors, ATVs with trailers, and hydraulic wood splitters.
This spring, while the temperatures were cool and before the bugs came out in force, my dad cut up a bunch with his chainsaw. With up from my neighbor, I hauled it out of the woods, split, and stack it. Now that the cool temperatures of the fall have returned, so has the work.
Work it is, too. Every morning now, I awake with a stiff back and sore muscles and joints. Last week I had one wild swing with the splitting axe and was rendered useless with a thrown back for a few days. After some planning, my neighbor and I spent about two and a half hours using his hydraulic splitter. I'm feeling the burn right now.
Granted I'm a desk jockey, but I'm in pretty good shape. Sadly, by today's standards I'm in great shape. I really do mean sadly too. The work I've done this weekend, that by today's standards was a good deal of work, is really nothing compared to a few generations ago.
When this part of the country was settled on a typical morning on the typical family farmstead, the men got up and went to the field or barns to work. The women went to the woodpile and cut & split, by hand, the morning's wood so she could start cooking breakfast.
What today is a weekend chore that can require planning, gasoline powered tools, frequent breaks and followed up with pain pills and chiropractor appointments, was considered the housewife's morning routine.
We have gotten soft.