Monday, November 16, 2009

Firewood Frenzy

Today I participated in such a Canadian stereotype.

And no, I did not use a serviette after eating poutine on my chesterfield.

Instead...I climbed into my long johns and collected wood for the evaporator.

Translation: I turned myself into a lumberjack to get some wood for the fire to make maple syrup in the spring.

After fighting off a blinding headache this morning...I was back to my normal self this afternoon, so I spent the afternoon running around the farm helping my brother to collect firewood for the spring when we make maple syrup. My brother Ben and I are what you call...umm..opposites. We're not EXACTLY a like in such obvious ways. He's good at building things and machines and fixing things. Whereas...I'm good at..uhh..breaking things for him to fix.

So, I jumped in and did my best to help. I used my massive strength to carry huge trees as if they weighed nothing. I scaled rock fences in search for more wood like it was nobodys biznaz. I stacked wood like I've been doing it since I was a baby. I even drove a MANUAL TRACTOR.

Okay, I may be slightly exagerating. I used my strength to carry huge trees as if they weighed as much as...huge trees. I huffed and puffed and pulled and tugged until I got them out of the brush and into the open where they could be cut up into smaller more manageable (but still H-E-A-V-Y) pieces. I may have also been distracted picking up what I thought could have been a-okay firewood..which I quickly got the 'Erin, we're looking for FIREWOOD, not MATCHES' look from my brother as he pointed further down the field to where some giant dead trees awaited us. I may also have not so stumbled and scrambled up, around and...uhhh..down rock fences. Where the rocks may have beaten me up like it was nobodys biznaz. I stacked wood like someone would if they had no idea what they were doing...and let Ben take over that job and took to lifting it off the trailer and handing it to him instead. Hey, it's important..if no one handed it to him..he'd like, have to do it HIMSELF or something.

But the driving the tractor thing...I did. That, I'm not exagerating. It wasn't that the particular tractor was EASY or anything..I'm just AWESOME. And maybe a little bit that the gears had picture guides on them. If all cars had gears that were 'turtle', 'person' and 'car' on them for 'slow', 'medium', 'fast' - I'd TOTALLY know what to do. For those of you who know know that this is kind of a big deal. I had a hard enough time learning how to drive an automatic car...the thought that I could ever be driving a tractor..let alone a MANUAL one..that's HUGE.

It didn't hurt that I had a teacher who actually had some patience and understanding and despite the fact that this stuff doesn't come naturally to me..he sat there patiently showing me how to work the clutch and explaining it to me in lamens terms why it works and how it works and making sure that I was getting it. Those are the best kind of teachers :) It's just funny to watch as we grow up and become responsible adults who can work together, and better yet..teach each other how to better ourselves. As I watch my brother grow up..I see so many qualities in him that I admire..and I see so much of my Dad in him and it just makes me really happy to see the person that he's becoming.

It really was amazing to me how much we've grown up...that we can work together and get things done..and amazingly..still be on speaking terms when we're done. It's not often that we work so closely together in our daily lives, even though we're both here working away on the farm. Our skill sets are just so different that we're both busy doing different things that we're good at..but spend little time actually working together to get something done 'round here. So when we do work together..I think that a lot of time we're destined to clash because we ARE so different in a lot of ways that it's harder to see where the other person is coming from..but today really showed me that perhaps we are..growing up. It also showed me that I'm REAL glad we don't heat our house entirely with wood. Man, that's just crazy talk...getting enough just for the evaporator in the spring is hard work. I did one afternoon of it..and I'm pooped. I'm gonna sleep SO GOOD tonight!

So, I'm proud to say that not only did we collect a bunch of firewood to go in the woodshed..but we did made a dent in filling it up, he taught me how to drive a TRACTOR..and despite working with machinery, chainsaws and EACH OTHER...we both have all of our limbs and are alive and well.


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