Archive for September, 2007

Kindling

When I was just a boy, my father told me it was my job to cut plenty of kindling for the fireplace one summer. This way when winter came we would have it to start fires in the fireplace. That sounded easy enough!

The type of kindling he was talking about was fat liter that comes from the pine stump of a tree. This was in midsummer, so I had no idea what he was talking about. So I asked my dad if he would show me how to do this, and he said” after work tomorrow I will show you”. I was excited! So late the next day when dad came home he told me to get the ax and the hatchet, there was and old stump back in the edge of the woods. So off we go!

There was only a small piece of that stump that could be used but I found out how to cut kindling. This chore my father gave me to do should only take minute a couple times a week, so the rest was up to me. The next day I went looking for some old stumps but there were none to be found around our house. I knew my cousin down the road had a fireplace in their house. We had no phones so I walked down to his house and we talked about where we could fine some stumps. Kindling

We talked to the farmer that owned a lot of property in our area. He told us that we could work something out, he needed some kindling also. This small chore was snowballing out of control fast! He told us he knew where some old stumps were on his property but we would have to pull them out of the ground. He said he would allow us to use his John Deere tractor. We decided that to make this one minute job go faster we needed another tractor. My cousin borrowed another tractor from another farmer down the road. It was an Allis-Chalmers, so with chains, ax, and a shovel we were off!

When we reached the area where the stumps were, we went to work hooking our chains to separate stumps. We pulled but that didn’t work. Then we hooked both tractors and chains to one stump, jumped on the tractors, revved up the motors, and we pulled with tires spinning and dust flying! We pulled it out of the ground and got a few more that were in the area. That alone was one day of work! Cutting the wood into small pieces for kindling was another story.

Well, it took more then a minute to complete this chore my father assigned me for the summer.

[NOTE: Thinking back, cutting yellow pine has a distinct smell to it that you never forget.]

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As we get old sometimes we need to take a minute!

So we age, we get lazy, and often forget the simple things that can help us out. I am still pretty fit for an old man but I am always very active around the house (well….. my wife keeps a “Honey Do” list that keeps me active I should say).

Think about all the extra time we have often times just trying to think of something to do. Here are a few questions that just might help you keep active by challenging yourself to these:

  1. Can you walk one city block in a minute?
  2. Can you walk up the stairs in an average 3 story building in a minute?
  3. Can you jump a rope 50 times in one minute?

These are all seemingly easy to accomplish…. But I must admit some of us are not in as good a shape as we should be.

permalinkRead More CommentComments (0) CatOutlooks on the Minute

Take it to the river.

The River

The river that we went swimming and fishing at was about half a mile away. All we had to ride was our bicycles, but trying to ride to the river on a sandy road was almost impossible so we just walked. When we went fishing at the little river a lot of times, we would put out set lines which were short poles with just a line and hook stuck in the side of the bank of the river. My father taught me how to do this trick. Sometimes as many as ten to fifteen lines at one time! We would sit back and talk about all types of things while waiting for that big one to hit one of our set lines. It’s so quite out in the woods you could here the birds, bees, squirrels and the water running in swift areas, but that’s not all. Don’t forget about the wind blowing through the trees. 

It is so exciting when you see one of the poles bend over and instantly the water and the fish starts splashing around. You jump up and run and when you grab the pole and lift it you have caught yourself a red breasted bream! Most of the time we caught ourselves a whole mess of fish to take home! You know with the fish caught and at home, now sadly you have to clean them.

Once cleaned my mother would take it from there! She was one of the best cooks I ever knew. We would have fried fish, hush puppies, grits, green beans, sliced tomatoes, ketchup for the fish and hush puppies, and a big glass of ice tea. You talking about some mouth watering, lip licking, finger licking food…..you got it! My mother being raised on the farm could cook some of the best vittles you have ever eaten!We will dig a little deeper into that story at another time.

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Now… This ain’t no bull!

One day I met with my first cousin and we decided to go fishing. We lived less than a minute from each other. We met, and with our fishing pole and a can of worms in hand we were on our way. Instead of taking the long way around we decided to take a short cut.

We climbed over the fence we were laughing and having a good time. We were talking about all the good fishing holes we knew about, not paying much attention on what was going on around us. When we got less then half way across the field we heard a noise and looked over to our right, out of nowhere was this huge Brahma bull looking at us.Brahma Bull Can you imagine the look in that bulls eyes with his head down and his right hoof pawing in the ground? We knew we were in a lot of trouble!

Scared as we were we looked at each other eyes wide open and said its time to go. We looked around to see which way was the shortest way out of there. We scanned the area we decided that the shortest way out was the way we came in. We started running as fast as we could with the bull close behind, by this time our hair was standing straight up. The fence we climbed over was getting closer and we could hear the bull snorting, which was bad. We heard someone yelling, we looked and it was the farmer that owned the bull yelling, “You boys get out of there!” By this time we were at the fence and we dared not to look back. The farmer was standing at the fence so he quickly helped us over, relieved of what could have happened to us.

So the next time you think about taking a short cut, the longest way may be the best way to go or you may run into an extraordinary surprise.

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