Wednesday, March 4, 2015

We (Women) Can Do It!

This morning that cute little gal over at A Farmish Kind of Life wrote a post about the latest romantic date she and her husband just had.  (This gal knows how to plan 'em!)  Deciding it was time she learned how to use a chainsaw, she asked her husband (with fluttering lashes, no doubt) if their next date could be giving her instruction on how to use one.

Her post brought back a flood of memories for me.

The year we moved up here in the late fall, we faced our first winter living in an uninsulated a barely insulated old, old mobile home.  The furnace in it was non-functioning (we had no money to buy fuel anyway -- seriously) so we installed an old Ashley wood burning stove.  (Anybody remember those?)

The big problem was we had nary a stick of firewood readied for winter time heating.  So every morning after Papa Pea left for his teaching job, I would bundle up our then two year old to the extent necessary according to the outside temperature, put her in her designated area with play things (safely away from the wood working area but where I could still keep an eye on her) and go to work cutting wood.

I had a chainsaw I could handle (of a smaller size than the biggies my husband now uses) and I would cut enough wood to use for that day's heating.  On weekends, if we could find the time working around even more pressing tasks (and other crises of which there were many), hubby and I would work together prepping a pile of wood.  That would free me up for some of the days of the coming week.

Was trying to stay warm all winter burning green wood to heat an uninsulated tin can a good situation?  Well, no.  (Nor did it keep us warm.)  But we survived, and I can definitely say I know how to use a chainsaw.


Hey!  Maybe that's why I still have impressive biceps.  Aren't we women somethin' else?

16 comments:

  1. Oh, Mama Pea, you are a most amazing lady! And yes, we can do what we must. I chopped all the wood for our wood cook stove (it needs small pieces) for two years when Tramp 1 had surgeries. And I enjoyed doing it - there is something very fulfilling about laboring for your heat. But I am glad that he has been able to take up the business of chopping the wood again...

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    1. 2 Tramps - I think you're absolutely right. We all can move mountains . . . if we have to. But isn't it wonderful to know you have a partner who can share (or do the greater part of) moving those mountains!

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  2. It's amazing the things we can do when we have to (and also amazing how many things I no longer do because I have someone else...thanks Paul...to do it). Thanks for sharing your story with us :)

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    1. Carolyn - It's all a reciprocal arrangement, isn't it? For instance, I think my hubby has cleaned a toilet once in all our years of marriage. But he does A LOT that I never even have to think about. For which I'm very appreciative! And you're welcome.

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  3. I so admire you and any woman that takes these matters into their own hands. At times, I've wanted to use my husbands skill saw and he absolutely would not let me. But I can work the jigsaw...and a screwdriver and hammer and a paintbrush. Nothing compared to the chainsaw, though.

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    1. Laurie - Well, you know, you'll probably use the jigsaw, screwdriver, hammer and paint brush a lot more than you would a chainsaw so I'd say you're doing just fine!

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  4. I think it's VERY important for women to learn such skills. I have a friend whose hubby is not doing so well physically and she felt a little trapped this winter not knowing if she had the nerve to try to cut her own wood. They ended up spending a fortune on the propane expense. I learned to wield an axe many moons ago! And do plumbing, and patch drywall, and clean gutters etc etc etc...it's a good feeling knowing that one can be self-sufficient! Even though I'm pretty happy with my bf doing the hard labour for us, I'm glad i know how too!

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    1. Rain - Thanks for commenting! It's not just us women in society today. There are very few people who have the skills (and they are skills!) to do much of anything to actually take care of themselves. But how important that knowledge would be if there would come a day when we can't hire work done or buy a needed commodity! As an aside, it has always frustrated me that I don't have the physical strength to do some jobs my husband can do so much more easily. Silly, I know, since female and male bodies are just built differently!

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    1. Tombstone Livestock - You're no slouch yourself!

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  6. Unfortunately, Hubby won't teach me. He has to be here, and he usually mans the saw. Maybe someday. Until then, I not afraid to swing our sledge hammer.

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    1. Kristina - Do you have a good splitting ax, too? I love splitting wood and did a lot of it before we got our splitter. I think you need a sweatshirt that says, "I have a sledge hammer and I'm not afraid to swing it." ;o]

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  7. Wow! 'Love your stories of the old homesteading days! Your hard work paid off and you make me feel like I am sitting in the lap of luxury: toasty, no frozen pipes and a huge supply of firewood still left in the sheds. This ole homestead has come a long, long way, baby! ;-) --M

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    1. M - I think many of us with this lifestyle had it kinda rough and ragged when we first started. It makes us appreciate what we have now all the more, don't you think?

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  8. That is on my list for this year. I am tired of relying on others to do what I could so easily do myself. It's not that I have to take down giant redwoods (or would anyway), but that's one tool I'd love to have. You are, you know, quite amazing.... :)

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