Friday, May 23, 2008

Still stumped...

Yep, remember those trees I cut down a while back? The one where we left the stump - the stump is still there (there it is, over in the picture to the left, gloating, taunting me with its stumpiness: "nyah-nyah, you can't get me out of the ground!" Well, we'll see about that, mr. evil stump!). Worked on it a while this afternoon; got some more roots up. (There are still some connected to the stump.) Oh, and that fence back there - that's the one under which my middle son (third child) ran our go-cart...

Anyway, I was thinking about living back in colonial and/or explorative times, and how I'm glad I didn't live back then because I just can't hack (sorry, no pun intended) all this physical labor. Then again, if I did live back then, I'd probably be in better physical shape and it wouldn't be such a big deal. But could you imagine having to clear all your land for your home site and/or farm back when Alabama was primarily forest? I mean, think about when you drive along the interstate, and you see all that thick, dense forest... imagine trying to clear out a home site from that using nothing but axes, saws, and your own two hands! And then cutting up the wood to make your log cabin house... wow. Now those guys were real men! (If you don't live in a place where there's lots of forest, you'll have to do your own imagining... consider, for instance, some of the forest you can see in this Google map view.)

Sometimes, when I hear kids complaining about school, I'll try to give them this perspective. I figure, ok, they get up around 6, have to be at school between 7:30 and 8:00, leave around 3:00, and then have most of the rest of the day to play (yeah, there's homework, I know). Contrast this to the life of a farm child back in the 1800s (my view of it):
  • get up around 4 am
  • go do the "early" chores: feeding the chickens, bringing in the firewood, stoking the fire for the cooking, etc.
  • eat breakfast
  • go do the morning chores: milking, feeding animals, etc.
  • bring in more firewood for making lunch
  • eat lunch
  • go do the afternoon chores: weeding, harvesting, feeding the animals (again), etc.
  • somewhere in there, try to get some schooling done
  • bring in more firewood for making dinner
  • eat dinner
  • go do the evening chores: whatever I've not already mentioned, probably cutting some wood for the next day's cooking, etc.
  • get to bed around 10 pm
  • get up at 4 am, repeat
  • do this every day, not just 5 days/week, including on Sunday, when you do get to take a break to clean up and go to church (if there's one within walking/riding distance)
  • do this until you're 16 (not 18, or 22 if you plan to go to college), then get married, find your own plot of land, clear it off, build a house, and do this whole thing and then some (since you're now responsible for the whole thing, not just helping), feeding and taking care of your wife and 13 kids...
Usually they decide that school's not so bad: 8-3 five days/week until you're 18, then continue into college, or find an 8-5 job somewhere.

You know, I'm a bit sore. I realized that when I got up to greet my wife. I think, when I finally get that stump out of the ground, I'm going to do a dance of joy around it, whooping and hollering like a crazy person, then probably burn it in some sort of a ritual of victory over the stump. Or something like that.


Carter said...

i hear ya man....don't think i could do it, either! lol

Christy said...

I think that the Burritt Museum "allows" a family to stay there and live like they did back in the day. Maybe you should all do that and see what's it like for real. Yeah, I know what you're thinking, "Maybe YOUR family should try it out". I don't think so, Tim. My gardening is primitive enough, thanks.

Tony M said...

Did you already forget who I am? I'm not Tim, I'm Tony. Wait, did I miss a movie line reference?

Christy said...

That's from a TV show, "Home Improvement". Tim the Toolman Taylor. His side kick would always say, "I don't think so, Tim", when Tim would ask him to do something crazy.

Tony M said...

Oh, yeah! Been a while since I saw that; it was a great show. Thanks for the reminder!