All rural dwellers have them. The friends, family, or mere acquaintances who imply, upon hearing where you live, that you must be stone cold stupid to live in the middle of “nowhere” with “nothing” to do.
Some people simply cannot imagine living beyond spitting distance of Target. Me, I can't imagine ever wanting to. Sure, the suburbs have their charms but where else but “nowhere” can kids engage in healthy outdoor pleasures, have their own sledding hills, livestock, creek, and climbing trees all in their own back yard?
Have I mentioned the work? Oh how I love the work. Chores. Duties. Responsibilities. I think it makes kids stronger and, dare I say it, better? I leave others to their chore charts, gold stars, and to kids who think they hung the moon because they put their own plate in the dishwasher.My kids know the real reward comes not from a sticker of a star, but from not freezing slap to death come winter, and of having your animals well fed.
Please join me for a relaxing late Sunday afternoon in the middle of Nowhere.
Our firewood is not for fireplace ambience but heat. We use it to heat a large outdoor wood burner that provides heat and hot water to our home all winter long. Because we live in a large, old, and essentially open-to-the-brisk-nor’easterly-wind house, the cost of fuel oil to heat the place would break us. Hence, the firewood. It comes not in neatly stacked cords but in a more natural, “tree” form. Some TLC needed …
This is the TLC needed. Cutting into smaller lengths and loading into the splitter. Ideally it’s a two-person operation. One to lift and load and the other to operate the splitter.
Here Jagger gives his impression of a speed bump. No one gets firmly in the way of any project quite like Jagger.
Exhausted from said “getting in the way,” he takes a break while Ace roams, ever alert for the opportunity to play fetch. This, however, does not appear to be a fetching crowd.
I remember when he was a toddler, kept safe inside with me to prevent him from being underfoot. Just look at him now. He probably regrets all the time he stood at the door stomping his little feet and insisting “me go TOO!” Now my kid can wrangle wayward livestock, barefoot, in minutes, all without putting down his sandwich.
Ace says all work and no play makes you a dull boy. Also, a disappointing one.
Time to clean the goat barn. Gertie is just a wee bit happy to see her. Hard-to-get is not Gertie’s style.
Lift that gate, tote that bale…
Here let me eat your hat. Can I get a side of gloves with that?
So there you have it - country kids on a relaxing weekend. Providing for the family. Caring for pets. (Played a little soccer, video games, and had a sleepover too!) Kids toting, hauling, chopping and caring all in the great outdoors. Why, if we had any more “nothing” to do, we’d run flat out of day.