Thursday, May 26, 2011

Our Journey! The Eight-Dollar Permit! 14

“The farmer is covetous of his dollar
 and with reason…
He knows how many strokes of labour
    it represents.
His bones ache with the day’s work
    That earned it.”
                    Ralph Waldo Emmerson

 It was January; bringing M home from the hospital was the push we needed to change our lives. It was the one thing that would truly motivate us to move forward in our journey and not hesitate.
 We put our fears of financial, and physical problems aside and began to think about the spring and the start of a new journey.
 And so it begins.

 As I sit by the roaring fire burning in the old woodstove. I watch M sleep in our bed. She is safe and healthy. I am looking through books of house plans and dreaming.
 I still cannot believe it, it is going to happen this time, and we would start building as early as we could in the spring. The house would be a smaller house with three bedrooms and a full basement. It would have a bathroom (inside) and lots of windows to let the light, and the heat in. I could hardly wait. There was still a long road to climb but we would do it.
 We had a man named Mr. C. coming by the farm regularly; he would buy our wiener pigs (about 40 pounds, six weeks old). We had fifteen sows having piglets at different times so we always had pigs to sell. He paid cash. This money would, after expenses, go towards the house. The pigs ate enormous amounts of feed.
 The work was very hard, that many pigs required a lot of water so I was making many more trips to the well near the house for five-gallon pails of water. As I carried the heavy pails through the drifting snow, my muscles straining, I kept thinking of our goal. I could do this.
 With raising pigs there were problems I never expected. With the feed came the rats. I did not know pig feed, and rats seem to go together. I was terrified of rats. I would watch the rats stand there waiting every morning for me to come and throw the feed into the troughs. There beady little eyes piercing my brain. I hated this; I was always so scared. I would pour the water over and make lots of noise till they scurried away. This memory still to this day makes me shiver.
 While the pigs were eating I would milk Mary the cow, and feed the other cows. I would then go clean the corners of the ten pigpens. Pigs are very clean and only use one corner of their pens as their bathroom. M always had the easy part of watching, and chatting with the animals. Her and Franny would run around together. I would watch and smile, always knowing why we were working so hard.
 There were many a night My Hero or I would spend in the barn. With all these piglets being born at different times we had to constantly monitor the births and assist when we were needed.
 Poor My Hero was running on less, and less sleep. “Hard work won’t kill you.” I hope not. We were selling sides of beef, selling eggs, and even selling the scrap pile. All this money after the expenses went towards our dream.
 My Hero started working longer hours at his construction job, he would snow plow driveways when he got home. I sometimes forgot what he looked like, as we were hardly ever in the house at the same time.
 M and I would take the truck once a week to the Co-op and pick up feed for the pigs and chickens. We would have ten one hundred pound feed bags on the truck. I could barely see over the dash even with a pillow under me, and behind me. I am surprised I made it home.
 I would then back the truck up to the barn door and slide the bags one at a time to the tailgate I would push them onto the floor. I would then drag them to the steel drums for My Hero to lift in later.
 Most nights I could not sleep the anticipation of the new house, and the pain of my muscles. It was going to be worth it. Next winter would be easier we would be living in a new house, and it would be warm.
 The winter seemed to drag on, and on but the plans were ready, now we just had to get our plan in motion. It was now April.
      We went to the township to get our building permit. Our plan was to tear down all the drive shed and half the old house. We would live in our living room, one bedroom and use the upstairs of the farmhouse as storage. We would build very close to the old building, on the same site. We should be able to do this as in the summer, and fall we were never in the house that much.
 The township informed us before they would issue our building permit we would have to buy an “Eight dollar demolition permit.”
 No turning back now.



  1. I loved reading your journey stories, catching the excitement (you felt )in every word..
    Here's to blogger being nice to commenter's once again:)

  2. Interesting. Now I have to wait for part 2. Sigh.

  3. Once you begin, I trust the fear will subside. You will be too tired to have any jitters.

    Good luck, dear. I know how you feel. Been there before. :)

  4. Thank you for finding my blog! I am in the midst of reading your journey now and I can't wait to see how it ends!

    Have a beautiful day!

  5. Thank you for sharing another part of your brought back memories of my childhood as my parents use to raise and sell weiner pigs.:)

  6. Where would we be without or dreams and passions. You are one tough lady.

  7. i love your journey stories. :)

  8. Hello and thanks for stopping by my blog. I look forward to going back and starting at your first post and reading forward. I always do this when I start following someone. I love the story of the pigs. I grew up on a farm and remember well the rats that lived in the corn crib. To this day I'm terrified of mice and rats.

  9. You all are some hard working folks!

  10. Your story truly illustrates the Emerson quote. It sounds like you've earned all the blessings you have. Best wishes for many more.

  11. Thanks for visiting my blog. I came by to see what yours was about and was enchanted. We raised hogs when I was growing up. Your words brought back memories. Thanks.

  12. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  13. Such a journey. Eight dollars? I like that you photographed it:))

  14. Oh you left me hanging! Even though I know you must have a newer house, I'm still on the edge of my seat. Rat! Yuck! Thanks for sitting on the porch for a spell. As for the ticks I was unnerved, but not panicked. If I saw rats I would be panicked! Can't wait for the next installment. Thanks for sharing, you are a good writer.

  15. great story looking forward to more

  16. Buttons, I have really enjoyed reading your journey. You and your family and everything you've been through is just amazing. I look forward to reading the rest of it.


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