By this time in November, when I was growing up on the farm, the haymows were filled with hay, the silo was filled with silage, and the corn cribs ran over with cob corn.
One major task remained. Making wood. Well, we didn’t actually make it. Mother Nature took care of that for us. What we did was find a dead oak tree or two in the woodlot back of the farm house, cut it down, haul the limbs and trunks to the house, and hold a wood sawing bee.
A wood sawing bee was when the neighbors gathered to help each other saw wood (with a huge circle saw) into manageable pieces, most of which we still had to split. Oh, I should mention that in those days of the latter years of the Great Depression and into World War II, everyone in the neighborhood heated their farm houses with wood stoves.
Now as strange as this may sound today, one way we judged the quality of a neighbor’s work was the size of his woodpile and especially how well it was stacked. We all knew and knew well the difference between a mere pile of wood, and a wood pile. A wood pile had elegance, had a sense of art to it, was something to behold and even brag about, although it was not becoming of farmer to do much bragging. A pile of wood was just that, an unattractive pile. Awarded a zero on the elegance scale of 0 to 10.
We still make wood at my farm. For a few weeks we had a rather elegant wood pile. About an 8 on the wood pile elegance scale. Then it fell over. From an 8 to a pile of wood, and a zero. Thanks to my brother Don, the pile of wood has once become a woodpile, and right close to a 9 on the elegance scale as well.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Always remember the difference between a pile of wood and a wood pile.
November 17, 7:00 p.m. Hotel Red (1501 Monroe Street- corner of Regent and Monroe, Madison.) A discussion with Doug Moe. Sponsored by Mystery to me Bookstore. Book signing to follow. (Whispers and Shadows and more.)
November 18, Preview of TV Documentary, “The Land With Jerry Apps” Wild Rose High School Auditorium. Whispers and Shadows book signing. 6:00 p.m. Refreshments. Presentation starting at 6:30.
December 2, 7:00 p.m. All Wisconsin Public TV stations. The Land With Jerry Apps. Hour-long documentary based on my book WHISPERS AND SHADOWS.
Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fund raiser for them):
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs, Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps and Jerry Apps a Farm Story.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including The Quiet Season (on which the DVD A Farm Winter is based), as well as Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm, (which are related to the DVD Jerry Apps a Farm Story). Also available is Jerry’s new novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County as well as Whispers and Shadows and his newest nonfiction book, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street