Saturday, February 19, 2011


 “ How do you tackle your work each day?
 Are you scared of the job you find?
 Do you grapple the task that comes your way
 With confident easy Mind?

 Most of us have, or had a job that was extremely stressful, and hard.
 Our ancestors were always working hard. They did not have the advantages of the industrial revolution, and the modern equipment of today. They first had to make what they needed, manually.
 Everything they did to prepare the land for farming was physically exhausting. Sweat making, muscle tearing, back breaking labour. Not, the get on your tractor, hook up a piece of equipment, and get the job done, from your seat  “Work”.
 They first had to make the tools they needed. They would then use this primitive (to us), yet skilful tool to get the job done.
 This is a photo of one of these tools.

 You can still see the axe marks on it. This Elm tree, was chopped down by an axe; it was a 10 inch diameter tree. The log was hewn, and then sawn the length needed for the maul. Sometimes, there would be two iron rings hammered on both ends as to prevent splitting. A hole was hollowed out in the centre. A long sturdy handle, which you had made, was inserted into the hole and secured with two wedges. After that, you have your maul. I have no idea how long this would have taken.
 This maul was then used to drive fence posts into the ground.

1887 (O.Judd Co.)
 You would stand on the back of a horse drawn wagon, loaded with fence posts (you had chopped and hewn).Someone would hold the post.
 You raised this very heavy maul, over your head, and pounded the posts into the ground, one strike at a time. Moving the wagon, each time you started a new post.
 You would go to work, from dawn to dusk, weeks at a time, for miles and miles.
 This method would not work in my area, as it is solid limestone, and rocks. The ground would have to be just earth. Beautiful fences but so much work. Imagine.

 Now; THINK of your job. Not so bad is it?



  1. Yup... most mutter and moan about their "jobs" and about how much time and effort it takes...never thinking about how it used to be. I've had a few physically demanding as well as a couple of mind bending I think I do have a handle on it. Or, they even say...but that was then; this is now.... as if it somehow it doesn't matter how hard our ancestors worked. I marvel each time I load my dishwasher... and my lovely washer and dryer... drive 2 minutes to a store at the turn of a key .... and really appreciate all my amazing "stuff". Most weeks I bake too...and love my kitchen toys... mixer and stove.. that works perfectly... wow... how did those poor women survive at all I ask? And... of course, we know they didn't survive very long at all some of them. Life was hard and it was short. Mostly...who would have wanted to live too long anyway hard as it was.

    I always say how lucky I am to be alive in this time .... and I sooo love the little things in life that I think most people take for granted. Maybe that's why I'm pretty happy with my life... it's the little things to me that make it so great.... if I'm healthy, have a lovely warm and dry house (like you, I have had cold and not so great in the past) .. enough food in the cupboards and a bit of loot to spend if I want to.... man.... that's a great life.......and I thank my lucky stars that I'm in it.

  2. BumbleVee I think you are a very wise, insightful woman and I, like you appreciate the fact I am living at this time and enjoying everything I have. Thanking our ancestors for their hard work to get everyone where we are today.Life is good and I hope to enjoy it till I am very old. B

  3. I can see both sides of the wall here. Like Bumblevee I appreciate my modern conveniences - my electric cooker, washing machine, fridge and above all the car which enables me to do so many of the things I love and to visit my children easily. But I also deplore the fact that so many people don't know how to cook because they and their parents have always put a packet in a microwave...many children don't know that chips come from potatoes which grow underground...most of us can't imagine life without gadgets which are actually luxuries (dishwashers, central heating, televisions). I'm not advocating a return to the real poverty of the past, just a more balanced way of life. And I'm not sure how to integrate a simpler way of life with modern society, though many of us are trying. Because I think that our life of luxury with its sometimes apparently meaningless jobs and entertainments brings a true poverty of body, mind and spirit. There.

  4. Marianne This is so true. My husband has a saying, "hard work won't kill you" Some days I think he is crazy; the days I drag myself out of bed, the pain so bad I could scream,other days I know he is right. I feel sorry for "some" of our children that never knew the value in a good days work. I would not want my children to go through as much as I did to get here, as you can read in 'Our Journey' but I want them to know what work is and the satisfaction that comes with the physical work. I am lucky they both work hard. I love your last statement "true poverty of body, mind and spirit" I do believe that. Thanks Marianne. B

  5. You might enjoy the folksong "John Henry". It is the tale of a man racing modern technology (at the time).

    I have a great job. I'm very lucky. I have had really demanding impossible ones too. My favorite jobs have always been the manual labor ones though.

  6. Some things about my "job" I don't like and need to get after them. Thank you for jumpstarting my Sunday!

  7. Mary I will definitely look that up. Thank you.I love to get my hands dirty also. B

  8. Nancy I hear that, and you are welcome. B

  9. What an interesting subject and I have thought about those ancestors many times as we struggle to provide a simple life in the country. Not having the luxury of big equipment like the large ranches surrounding us, we use the tools we have, our backs, and a little ingenuity to get things done! Some days are really rough and others are gratifying beyond words. I've always said, "Life is what you make it and that's why I don't mind a little struggle because it makes you stronger!" Thanks for stopping by our blog, hope you'll return again, I know I'll return to yours as I've enjoyed my visit!!

  10. Dear Sall I understand this completely before we had the equipment we have today it was a long, hard struggle.You should read Our Journey and you will see that I know what you are talking about.Thanks for visiting. B

  11. What a great post--so true. We wouldn’t get anything done today if we had to do this hard labor. Many folks just aren’t willing to work that hard anymore. I have such a respect for our ancestors--they built this country with their backs and muscles.

  12. Makes you think we have it pretty easy these days! I know I sometimes think how much things have changed in a century. My grandfather had no shoes until he was 12 (in 1931) - can you imagine that in Australia in the 21st century? It just wouldn't happen. By looking back, we can better appreciate the present.

  13. We sure do have so many things easier today. But back then the people didn't know any different with what tools they had.

    The photos of your last post are lovely, especially the sun rising, really like that one.

  14. Verde Farm. You are so right. B

  15. The Provincial Homemaker When I was a kid in the 60's we had two pairs of shoes that had to last all year. The thirties were pretty bad for a lot of people.Your Grandfather was very strong. B

  16. Dear M I am glad we had smart people who made it easier for us. Thanks M, B


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