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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