Friday, August 14, 2009

Firewood and Chickens

Saw two things that reminded me of Dad today: Firewood and chickens.

Firewood, which Dad called firewoot in his Dutch accent. And chickens, which we always had in the backyard, wandering, pecking, crowing, pooping.

I'm unfortunate enough to get my firewood in a rather conventional way -- I drive fifteen miles form home to a business that makes log homes and load up on their garbage, for which I pay $15 a cord. As a kid, I and my younger brother used to go with Dad and sometimes Albert, our older brother, to the woods in Island Park to get firewood, chainsaws, huge trucks to load and all. Dad cut the firewood and drove the truck. Randy and I were the loaders, and never loaded it high enough for Dad. I understand now. Even when I go to the log home place, I hate leaving without a full load, which we had to do today because we had to get home for Isaac's birthday party.

Going to and from Island Park used to take forever. I remember especially on the way home how the time would drag, and how disappointed I was when we crossed the Snake River and I thought it was Rigby Lake, which was closer to home. I remember eating sandwiches at lunch up there, upset because the peanut butter and honey was mixed a bit with sap from my hands. And the precious water jug.

We got cords and cords of wood, filling the woodshed to the rafters. And we'd burn most of it through the winter. Nowadays I probably end up with three or four cords, and it lasts us, mostly, though last year it almost didn't.

And then there are the chickens. In the old woodshed is a patch of concrete that, freshly laid, the chickens trod on, leaving their gooney footprints in the rock. They were odd, the chickens. We kept them for eggs. Dad wanted to cook a few, but we had them for a long time and they were tough old birds. So they ate our leftovers. They especially loved boiled potatoes and to pick at chicken carcasses -- we had cannibals in the backyard. Weird. We saw a few chickens at the Madison COunty Fair today, so that's why they came to mind.

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