Saturday, October 1, 2011

Our Journey! Keep Going! 18

 Sadness diminishes or hinders a
 man’s  power of action.

   Benedict (Baruch) Spinoza

I pump water into the small bucket and pour it over into the two five-gallon plastic pails on the toboggan; I then pull the toboggan down the hill to the barn through the deep snow. I try not to lift too much because of the baby. This works except for the fact that the water keeps sloshing over the sides, leaving the toboggan covered with ice and I only have half pails by the time I get there. This makes for more trips. I pull the sled right into the barn right over to the pens where the pigs are. I use a little bucket to pour water over, unlike when I used to lift the heavy pail straining to pour it into the troughs. The pigs run over and drink it fast. I have to get more. This takes time.
 M is dressed in her old snowsuit trying to clean the gutters with her little plastic shovel. This makes me smile; I find it hard to smile lately. She is so cute; I have to get over this self-pity it is not helping M, the baby, My Hero, nor myself. It is no ones fault this is life get used to it.
 The barn is crowded with pigs; we will be selling the little ones very shortly, so it is temporary. I let the few cows out that spent the night in the barn. We have so many cows now but most stay outside, with the drive shed for shelter. Since we sold Mary the mean cow my workload is less, it took so much time and effort convincing her who was the boss. The cows make their way down to the pump house for water. M and I will go check after to see if the water hole is open, if not I will chop a hole with the axe.
  My Hero had thrown bales down from the top of the barn last night into the feeders behind. This makes things a lot easier than me feeding them in the barn. I am so grateful for less work, I have been feeling very tired lately. It is the middle of January and it is a frosty, cold morning.
 After M and I finish feeding and watering the pigs, and pushing the manure into the gutter for My Hero to clean later, we head to the chicken coop. We only have twelve chickens, just enough eggs for the house and a few to sell. M gathers the eggs while I put feed in the feeders and check the waterers. We have heat lamps placed over the waterers, and one high in the pen to keep the chill off the chickens. Most times this keeps the water from freezing which requires me to take them into the house and thaw by the woodstove. I go to get another pail of water from the pump.
 As I stand pumping the water into a pail, in the cold wind, I look over to see the new house; I wonder when we will be in it. Delays, delays; the inside walls are going up, sometimes we hammer into the night by light from a Coleman lantern, we have much needed help on the weekends. It is very cold in there, making it hard to do much, mittens and hammers make for lots of dropping in my case. The sun is out in the day making it a little warmer but not much. The walls must be up before we can call the electrician to wire for the electric heat.
 Oh I love the thought of electric heat, and no wood, I find myself dreaming of sitting in front of this big window, the sun streaming through, and the baseboard heaters pumping out the heat. I have short sleeves on, and am watching it snow. I have to tell myself everyday it is going to happen I just have to keep going.
  I head back to the chicken coop, and M. She shows me the eight eggs she has gathered in her bucket. She is the reason I have to keep going her, and the baby. We head down to check the water hole, it is clear I give a sigh of relief, we head to the house.
 We get into the house, the stove has died down, and it is cold again, I throw more wood in the old stove, we take off our barn clothes, and put on heavy sweaters and our shoes. M cannot play on the floor since the cellar is wide open catching all the west wind and the floor is freezing. I make her a hot chocolate and she turns on the TV to watch Mr. Dress-up, she starts to colour and gets absorbed in the show.
 I put a chicken, and dried beans and my own vegetables from the freezer in a pot to make soup. It will simmer on the stove all day. I am grateful for the full freezer. Nothing is better than a big pot of soup on a cold winters day. My Hero will appreciate that after working outside in the cold all day.
I find it funny the freezer sits in the corner of the crowded room plugged into one of only two outlets while the house is “Cold enough to hang a side of beef”, my Grandma used to say.
 I sit by the frosted (inside and out) little window at the kitchen table watching M laughing at Finnegan the puppet. I sip my tea and hope this is almost over. I keep asking myself why doesn’t anyone come to visit? I know the answer. I put more wood in the stove. “Keep going; it is almost over.”



  1. Another great story from real life...also love your reminder about ferel woman on your side...I just got caught up with her that is something to think about!! in fact I can't quit thinking about it..

  2. Oh my goodness that sounds hard. You write about it so well, I must read over the rest of your journey. Great blog.

  3. Very well written. I don't mind work like that. There is always the stove and the good food to come back to. You have such a good memory.

  4. i so love to read these chapters. such struggles. so much hard work and agony. and i am so grateful it is in the past...

  5. B, did you record this somewhere else while it was happening or do you have total recall? Your details are wonderful.

  6. I'm reading your story, and feeling just horrible for you...and then you describe your soup, and I smile! I'm glad you had that freezer full of your own vegetables!

  7. Such an amazing woman! Your story is truly wonderful. It is gut wrenching and sweet all at the same time.

  8. I really enjoyed reading this post!

  9. You paint wonderfully with words...

  10. Very beautifully written. Many people could not make it through these circumstances, but you have and are stronger for it.

  11. 'Cold enough to hang a side of beef...' wow, what a flashback... my dad (when he was a boy in Nebraska in the 19teens) they did just that, and my grandmother would use a hatchet to cut off chunks to cook for supper...

  12. Writing is a gift and brings a lot of pleasure. Well done on your blog entry.

  13. Wonderful words...i can see it all!!!
    And now I am cold;))

  14. amazing detail much hard work. i hope you have decided to have these memoralized in print!! hugs!!

  15. So much of your post reads like our first year here on Cedar Pond. Living in a repo trailer we bought, without running water & electricity.We had a small kerosene heater and filled containers of water in the city.

    Although it was hard, some of the best memories with our children are borne out of that time. You are blessed.

    Writing down and posting this grand adventure of yours will help you remember all the things you might easily forget, and how far you'll have come. I am excited for you.

  16. Remembering how hard it was must make you appreciate life as you live it now all the more. People who have always had it easy have NO IDEA how easy they have it. :)

  17. Life was so hard for you. You never gave up the work, even when expecting your second babe. You just modified the way you did it. I'm so in awe of your spirit B!
    Thanks for giving us another incredible instalment of your journey.

  18. Such a lot of work but even harder when you're pregnant. I had to laugh when you mentioned Mr Dress-up and Finnegan...that came out when I was 14 and 3 of my children grew up with it. I can't remember if The Friendly Giant was still on at that time...I think it may have been. Such a long time ago. :)


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

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