Sunday, October 7, 2012

thankful

In Canada, we are celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend. We haven't hosted our family gathering since our first fall here at the Knitty Gritty Homestead, and my sister and her husband had this idea that we just couldn't refuse.

Our baby is due in December. We heat with wood. We both work full time, and spend much of our time at home just keeping on top of things like feeding our children, keeping them busy, and washing their clothes. The woodpile was slowly shrinking, in the small amounts of time that my husband could dedicate to blocking and splitting it by hand.

So, my industrious sister, who realised that she wouldn't be able to come and help after the baby was born, thought it would be cool to have a work day here, followed by a Thanksgiving feast. After borrowing our neighbour's wood splitter, everyone got to work. Mom and I spent a lot of the day in the kitchen preparing the feast, but I managed to slip out now and then to take some pictures.





People used to do this kind of thing as a matter of course. A big job that was hard to accomplish on our own would be shared amongst the community, and the workers would be bolstered by hearty food provided by the grateful recipients of the help. The best part of the day was how much fun everyone had; conversations flowed with the hands that cut and chucked the wood, tears flowed in quiet moments of stacking wood in the basement, workers were called in for baked beans and pork-roast sandwiches, the kids felt useful and learned to work carefully around machinery, and in the end, there was the profound, primal satisfaction of being prepared for winter.

Seeing that wood piled in the basement, with more in the woodshed, is more exciting for me than any baby shower could be at this point in my mothering journey! I am so thankful for the time and energy that everyone brought to our farm yesterday. Three generations, plus friends and their kids, all putting their hearts into helping us prepare for our winter, followed by a beautiful turkey dinner. 

I say it so often, because I recognize that it is true:
I am so very blessed!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends!

10 comments:

  1. What an amazing blessing for your family! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your generous family!

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  2. I completely agree Stephanie! Last year we had two wood bees with our OLSWA students and it was such a gift to our family (hoping to do the same again soon). Many hands make light work! Wishing you all a warm and cozy winter. Hope to see you sometime before your little one is born.

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  3. a lovely helpful way to show how blessed we are by family!We also heat with wood- both an outdoor woordburning furnace for heat and hot water- as well as an indoor woodstove. As wonderful and independent as that sounds it requires massive time to procure the wood from the bush each year to get us through the winter. My husband , his father and three brothers all work collaboratively to help everyone get the job done.It really would not work any other way

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    1. Modern life can really interfere with rural living...it does take so much time to get the wood in! The feeling of having it done is like having a cupboard full of preserves!

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  4. There is a lovely book called 'welcome with love' and it's a children's story book welcoming a baby (the fourth or fifth in the family) and the neighbours bring wood as a gift before the birth. It is so much like your day. You have a beautiful family to share so much love!

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation! I'll see if I can order it! :)

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  5. That's beautiful! I was just watching "living with the Amish," and that sense of community they have is so much like what you describe here. I think working closely with your family on a shared goal is really something that binds you together. Happy Thansgiving to you and yours :)
    -Jaime

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  6. I remember the days of splitting and stacking wood. While we don't heat out house with wood, I do have a fireplace that right now is more for show since it puts out pretty much no heat. My plan is to get an insert since I have an endless supply of wood should I need/want it. I kind of miss the days of "doing wood".

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  7. It was a wonderful way to spend half of our Thanksgiving weekend! Same time next year??

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