Caution: Kids at Work

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 wood doesn't come all neatly cut and stacked. It comes like this, in tree form.You warm my days and heat up my nights. We do it all for you baby.
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 …
IMG_3044Running the splitter.
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.
Jagger is clearly an integral part of any work process. His chief skill set is getting in the way.

Here Jagger gives his impression of a speed bump. No one gets firmly in the way of any project quite like Jagger.
Jagger, exhausted after a grueling few minutes of impersonating a speed bump, takes a well deserved massage break.
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, safe in the house with me to keep him out from underfoot. Sigh ...
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 boySeriously, dude, it's a stack of sticks. You know how I feel about STICKS. THROW ONE ALREADY!
Ace says all work and no play makes you a dull boy. Also, a disappointing one.

I just love to watch country kids at work.
Gertie's just a little excited to see her ...
Time to clean the goat barn. Gertie is just a wee bit happy to see her. Hard-to-get is not Gertie’s style.
 A little fresh hay ...
Fresh, clean, and toasty warm
Lift that gate, tote that bale…
Gertie prefers the top bunk
Here, let me eat your hat. Can I get a side of gloves with that?
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.


Artsy Fartsy Junkin Finds said...

Thanks for stopping in to take a peek at my Junk...I am officially in love with Gertie. I have been wanting a goat forever! Hope to hear from you again. LOVE your blog, Hugs, Janna

texwisgirl said...

This is exactly how I was raised. Grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm (we rented the old house but didn't have to milk the cattle) and the only heat source we had was a huge old furnace in the dank, cold basement. We helped make wood as soon as we were old enough to carry sticks and throw them in the back of the truck or on the trailer. The splitting saw always scared me to death, but when I was old enough, I had to help feed limbs and planks thru it with my dad. I wouldn't trade my country growing years for anything in the world. Escaping for hours into the fields and woods and nearby creek was heaven on earth for me. I'm glad to have found a place that I can return to that life here in Texas...

My brother sells those stoves like the one you have in Central Wisconsin. :)

God bless your kids for the fresh air and hard work they're getting!

Furry Bottoms said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog!! :) I've come to sniff you out.

Your goat is a hoot!

Vixen said...

I would trade every mall, Target and Walmart for the chance to live down Long Lane.

Your kids are going to grow up so much more accomplished than most city kids, for sure.

I, for one, am envious.

Leontien said...

Loved the pics and the story! But i was wondering??? What happened to all your followers and stuff!?! Last week when i checked you out, you had many more???

See ya soon!


SandyCarlson said...

Dare to say it: having chores to do makes kids better.

Gorges Smythe said...

You're right; the kids will be the better for it!

SheShe said...

I couldn't agree more! My kids think they're picked on because they have daily chores, but I know it's good for them. And, heck, even if it's least stuff gets done!

Chatty Crone said...

I imagine you do have great kids - a lot because of where you live and their chores. :)


Angela said...

Thanks for dropping by and following my blog! I'll have to say that you hit it right on the nail with how people respond when they hear that we live on a farm out in the country! I just laugh about it because they don't know what they are missing! My kids look at their postage stamp yards and ask where do their kids play. We live on a 66 acre farm with 2 kids and 2 dogs and wouldn't want to live anywhere but here.

Have a Great Day!