Chopping and throwing sticks into a shed yesterday evening brought back lots of memories. Brian had sawed some of a fallen tree during the week and brought them in close to the woodshed. As he was chopping the trunk sections into thirds, I was throwing them into the back of the shed – to dry out for a few weeks before being chopped smaller. This is a job that should have been done during the summer – when evenings were long and they would have time to season before the winter. But, as always seems to happen, lack of manpower means it is left till we are nearly running out of wood!
When I was a kid, fallen trees would be sawed and chopped during the summer by my dad and his workman. When winter was coming, this trailer (now a rustic backdrop!) was filled with sawn sticks and brought around to the house to be put into a room at the back known as the ‘stick house’. ?A load of sticks would also be brought to elderly farming neighbours each year, I presume our workman also got a load and another load would be brought as a Christmas box to an elderly widowed lady living beside our outfarm. The sticks would be well seasoned and kept the living room toasty warm throughout the winter.
We have a wood stove in the kitchen now as well as the open fire in the living room. I love the stove in the kitchen, keeps it as a cosily warm temperature. Having a few problems with soot building up and there’s no easy way to get it out – have a feeling we will be calling the installer back but heyho. We were thinking of putting a stove in the living room too and although some of the heat does escape up the chimney, I love the crackle and life of an open fire and the fact you can pull a chair nearer to it to get extra warm.
This trailer also brought back another memory. ?When travelling to our outfarm with our workman Tommy, I opted to sit on the trailer. He was driving the Massey which had neither passenger seat or doors so I knew from experience that the trailer would be more comfortable. I guess I was about 8. Going down the steep hill at the top of Killeen, I suddenly felt three large bumps and the trailer ground to a halt. ‘Tommmmmmyyyyy’ I shrieked. I’m not sure how he heard me above the noise of the tractor but he turned around and I can still remember seeing his eyes nearly pop put of his head as he saw the trailer 20 or 30 feet behind him and the wide eyes of an 8 year old peeping out over the front board. He acted very calmly though, reversed the tractor, found the pin and managed to lift the empty trailer into position with the pin pushed firmly in. Considering the hill was fairly steep, we were lucky it didn’t decide to head off on its own adventure. Nice farming memories. Do you have any you would like to share – would love to hear them.