We make wood once a year at Roshara, a couple days in late October or November. Making wood is an old farm term. It means cutting down trees and splitting blocks and piling the sliced pieces so they can dry.
My son, Steve and I cut down three dead black oak trees last week, on a day when snowflakes drifted from the sky and the woods was filled with silence.
It is hard work, especially for someone who doesn’t do it regularly. But the satisfactions are many. Smelling fresh cut oak wood. Meeting the challenge of an oak block that defies splitting. Seeing the pile of freshly split wood grow ever taller as pieces are added.
Enjoying the heat from our wood burning cook stove at the cabin. And remembering how we made wood for days on end when I was a kid, as we heated our farmhouse, the pump house and the potato cellar with woodstoves.
The Old Timer remembers this saying from his German relatives: Let us all stick together. Everyone for himself.
November 20, 12:30 UW-Baraboo, Baraboo, WI. How technology has changed farming and rural life: a historical perspective.
December 6, 10-2:00 PM, Fireside Books, West Bend, WI. Featuring Old Farm. Presentation and book signing.
December 9, 6:30 PM, Watertown Public Library. Stories from the land.
December 13, 9:30-11:30 AM, Sheboygan Falls, Library. Sheboygan County Historical
Research Center. Old Farm: A History.
December 14, 1:00-3:00 PM. Barnes and Noble West, Madison. Books signing. Old Farm.