Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hard Work


Red-bellied Woodpecker








Hey, what is in there?





Work slowed down with the weather. He helped his son a bit, but was often shuffled off to the side. He felt strong and anxious to be there for his boy, but his son was afraid to wear him out too much. Roles sometimes reverse in our lives and often the caretakers become the taken care of. He went out and looked at the woodpile and saw he could split some of the wood stacked in a neat row. He grabbed a maul and swung hard at the piece, happy to hear the crack as it split in two. The next few weren’t as easy, sometimes a man didn’t always hit that mark. He worked for quite some time when he heard his wife calling. It was already time for lunch and his appetite would be good.

Walking back to the house, he had gathered an armful of his work and carried it inside. His wife was shocked to hear he had been at the woodpile all of this time. She thought he was out talking to the livestock, a favorite item in his day. Sometimes they listened to him more than family he had thought. His wife shushed him and told him he was only imagining that. She had fixed some dumplings on some leftover stew and he gobbled it down like he hadn’t eaten all day. He began to feel a bit stiff, so decided to go a little slower on the wood.

On the first couple of swings he felt his previous work and slowed down looking at each piece more careful. He laughed thinking how days were spent gathering and splitting wood to get enough to cover the winter season. Now there were two hands to work this job and his son had a man that came when he wasn’t busy with his carpentry business. He liked the hard work out on the prairie, it made one feel good about himself. When he worked his mine he often had a hard time staying awake some nights, bent over most of the day working away. He thought about his last trip out there and wished more faces had looked familiar. Changes were common on this land, and many left disgruntled not having made their dreams work.

He carried what he had done to a stack on the porch and felt his day was finished. Pulling out his watch he was surprised what little time had passed after lunch. He whistled a tune that had been a working song when he was out at the mine. Often he sang to his horses and even sometimes to his workers, making up a silly tune. His mind wandered off thinking about his children growing up and again his whistling began again. It often cheered him up on his way home from work. His song echoed off the melting snow and across the hillside, carried on a gentle prairie breeze.
:
To have passion for life
Doesn’t mean something
To hold, own or touch
Except for a few good memories.














23 comments:

  1. great work. Excellent photos. YOu have done it again.

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  2. Am I seeing things or is that an upsidedown icecicle???Hahaaa
    Love the shots of the woodpecker! I've been hearing them here as well!
    hughugs

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  3. I love the shots within the bird feeder, but my favorite are the ice & snow shots.... beautiful :)

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  4. Love this writing...and of course those photos.
    Were you hanging upside down?;) Or was the world?:))

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  5. That upside down icicle sure caught my attention. Love the woodpecker images too.

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  6. From sunup to sundown, in this very hard winter, being a farmer or a red bellied workpecker is hard work. Fuel for heat whatever it takes. I see my red belly working hard every day.....

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  7. Now how long did it take you to get all those shots of the melting process? :)
    As always gorgeous pictures and great story

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  8. If ever a bird was misnamed, it seems it was the Red-Bellied Woodpecker. There may be some red on the belly, but it's certainly not the bird's dominant feature. You got some great photos of this one, though. Very cute shot of him peering into the hole in the tree.

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  9. I did some cedar log splitting this past summer..THATS hard work for sure--love the red-bellied--Great photos!!

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  10. loving that red-bellied and those blue skies! We had a warmish day here but it was all hazy for some annoying reason.

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  11. Wonderful photos ! Sky, bird and ice.

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  12. I LOVE the sun shining by the ice. GREAT shot, Steve. But please tell me, why these are red BELLIED woodpeckers, when it is their heads that are red! :D

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  13. You had a bit more luck with the red-belly than I, Steve. At least, he stayed put long enough for you to take some awesome photos.

    Good to see the icicles -- that means some melting is going on! :)

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  14. I could really identify with this particular story. Life on the prairie isn't so different from life in the forest. Nicely done, and all of the images were wonderful.

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  15. Steve,
    The photos are great...I especially like the snow/ice formations but I like them from 'afar' Hah!
    I really liked the story today; it gave me the essence of that need to feel important as we get older and needing to be appreciated regardless of what the task. However, then also facing the harsh reality that we aren't able to do as we use to...

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  16. I love, love, Love, the woodpecker!!

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  17. The ice images are stunning. Nice prairie reflective story.

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  18. Amazing icicle photos. You do great work!

    I edited my post to include that zounds was the f-bomb during Shakespeare's time. I get to cuss and others think it's quaint, whoo hoo!

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  19. Once I watched my nephew try to split wood, under the guidance of his grandfather. That dear boy missed the stump the wood was on and the ax landed with an almighty thud two inches away from his foot. I think my eyes were as wide as saucers and my heart skipped a few beats. I think there is quite an art to chopping wood, and hand-eye coordination must play a big part ;) Another real nice story and I always love those photos.

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  20. Lovely pictures and pic 14 is awesome :) Enjoyed your story today. Sometimes when we get old, no one listens anymore.

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  21. love your gentle touch of words



    Aloha from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral

    ><}}(°>

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  22. Steve, great photos again! Look me up on Facebook. I have a friend that is interested in having you speak somewhere.

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  23. Fantastic pictures! What bright colors in the snow!

    Hope you are feeling better soon! (Heard you had a cold.)

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Keep it positive and informative,I enjoy hearing from you!