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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Being a "Grunt" is Not So Bad

One of the descriptors of this blog refers to leading a healthier life. 
What's healthier than working hard in the great outdoors? 

A week ago, a storm came through town and took out a huge sycamore tree.  Sadly, it was the only shade on the east side of the house, and it took out the fence on the south side of the house.  Also, one-third of a tree tore off on the west side of the house and took out the west fence.  Obviously, it was not a night of straightline winds.

Thank the Lord for sweet friends!  The lovely C family (Dad, Mom & 4 munchkins) came over and helped make short work of the sycamore mess.  There's still a bare tree trunk down on the fence  (and propped up by two logs; safety issues will surely be another post!), but at least all the branches have been disposed of, and we can actually use the driveway again.

The fence going down on the west was not so bad because Daddy (Yes, I am from the South and will probably call my Daddy "Daddy" til the day I die.) was planning on moving the fence further west anyway.  I think it just moved that job higher in priority on his list.  The last couple of days he's been taking down the fence, marking off the new area for the fence, and figuring out what he needs to make this happen.  One other thing that has to be moved is the wood pile.

Aah...the wood pile.  Growing up, we heated pretty exclusively with wood.  There was a small gas heater in the bathroom to keep the pipes from freezing, but other than that, we had no heat upstairs.  Downstairs, we had our wood stove, and to make that lovely heat that you could back up to, we had to have wood.  Lots of wood.  Being poor as we were (I didn't know we were poor til I went to college.), buying wood wasn't an option.  Thankfully, my Grandpa had timber on some of his land, so there was wood for the taking chopping and hauling. 

I had two sisters, so it wasn't a matter of sending out the guys to get the wood.  This was a family affair!  I couldn't even begin to count the ricks of wood I've chucked and stacked.  We worked hard.  My Mama had this wonderful knack of making work a game as well as appealing to our competitive nature.  If we could get the truck full in such & such amount of time we could do...and the carrot was placed before us.  We worked hard, but it was good work, and we are strong and confident women in no small part due to the work we did as a family.

All of that brings me back to tonight.  Since Daddy's moving the fence, the wood pile needed to be moved.  I took on the job, and it felt so good.  There is something so very therapeutic about physical labor.  A job this simple -- take these logs & put them there -- is uncomplicated and yet very satisfying to accomplish. 

The sweat ran down my face, off the tip of my nose, and stung my eyes.  My arms are scratched up from carrying armfuls of wood.  And yet, I had a peaceful time being a "pile-it" this evening.

It's not so bad being a "Grunt" from time to time, and that's the honest truth.

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