Growing up, my Dad always took us to cut firewood as a family. It was a chore we dreaded at the time, but looking back it was always a sweet day spent together. I think what I dreaded as a middle-school age girl were the old clothes, the work gloves, and being covered in bark and sawdust.
The funny thing is that mixed with the laughter of my sisters, the sound of dad’s chainsaw running, the smells of the engine oil, fresh-cut wood and Big Red gum (there was always Big Red gum) – cutting firewood became a very special part of my childhood.
Working hard as a family is so important. Not only is it vital to teach your children how to work hard and how to stick with a job until it is completed, it’s also important to show them that working hard is part of living well – doing a chore doesn’t (always) mean just get it done, it can also mean enjoying the process of the work – together, talking and unplugged.
Cutting firewood when I was young taught me that putting on old clothes and getting dirty are good for me, that it’s not all about me, but it’s about doing something that benefits our family. We learned how to work together as a team, taking turns carrying, passing, stacking and unloading. It taught me that spending time together on a chilly day was important and that it was expected that I would follow directions and do the job well.
This is the kind of dirty and tired that puts a smile on your face and makes you hungry for your next meal!
I haven’t cut firewood with my dad in many years, but I know every time I walk past his huge stack of perfectly cut logs what it took to get them there. Our kids can’t tote a heavy load but they can carry one or two logs – and I’m betting that they loved every minute of this “chore!”
It wasn’t these workers first year on the job!
post by Sunshine, pictures by Sunshine & Peter