Daily Draw: Wisdom of the Oracle ~ Chop Wood
Doing life's chores. I learned to drive at nine, on the old grey and red Ford tractor. Pulling the hay wagon. Hay was tossed loose onto the big wagon. Only once did I jerk the clutch and drive out from under the hay. You want to see men mad? Yikes. One time was enough. Once loaded I'd turn to the barn, pulling up parallel with the enormous window above me.
I'd run and get mother, her place was on the other side of the barn, with a long rope tied onto the boxy teal and cream Pontiac. When she backed up the hooks would fall onto the hay wagon, the guys would anchor them, we'd all join in shouting to mom when to GO and when to STOP. At stop the hooks would loosen and the hay would drop onto the barn floor.
My little brother and I would then take coffee cans of rock salt and liberally sprinkle each new layer of hay. Because fresh hay can combust, burning the barn down. My dad would always tell me to quit eating the salt, did I want my blood to turn to dust?
Then we'd repeat who know how many times. Once that hay was in the barn it was my daily job to climb the ladder up to the top of the hay and throw a good pitchfork load down to each cow locked in her stanchion and the milking would start. I've never milked but often watched as dad would squirt milk in the barn cats mouth, always a knee slapper to a small farm girl.
"As a farm girl, even when I was quite young, I had my 'farm chores' - but I had time also to be alone, to explore the fields, woods and creek side. And to read." ~ Joyce Carol Oates 1938-
Tried and True
11 hours ago