Blog: Dreaming a New Reality
by lfire

Story: Winter

Another story from my childhood with Grandfather, about how we spent our Winter on the farm.

Date:   1/13/2011 3:07:36 PM   ( 11 y ) ... viewed 22196 times

"Snow on Tree"                                                               photo by LFIRE December 2010


Recently we had a rare snow here (a very rare SIX inches).
It reminded me of the winter times that I spent with my Grandfather when I was a child.

Back in those days there were no freeways, so the roads were not very good and the cars were not what you are used to today. It took a long time to go, what we would think now, a short way. It would take us most of the day to get to Grandfather’s house and if the roads were bad (which they were most of the winter) we mostly didn’t go… or it would take longer.

Because of this we rarely went there in the winter. I do remember some winters that I was left the two week winter holiday.

The house had no electricity, no indoor bathrooms, and only a hand water pump in the kitchen sink for water. There was a wood cook stove which also served as the heat for the house. (BRRRR). Grandfather always had a big pot of water on the stove so there was hot water available. Plus it helped heat up and humidify the house. The kitchen was quite toasty. We would make a nice hot oatmeal breakfast or maybe bacon and eggs from the farm. Naturally the animals had to be fed and made sure they were alright every day.

During the winter we had dried vegetables, berries, and fruits as well as canned vegetables from the farm. We had a root cellar that kept apples, squash, potatoes, onions, and other root vegetables and some fruits. That way we had some fresh food even during the winter.

We would spend time mending clothes and making things that were needed. We would laugh and joke and Grandfather would tell stories. Those stories I later discovered held hidden lessons. At the time I just thought they were great.

One of our favorite things to do was to string berries, dried fruit slices, and popcorn. We would pop the popcorn then thread a needle with thread and sew the popped corn together in little bunches and in strings. Same with the berries. We would also make little packets of salt pork and take everything outside and string them on the spruce and evergreen trees.

We also made little packets of nuts for the squirrels. Then we would watch the birds and the squirrels come and pick at the popcorn, berries and grab at the nuts. What fun!
Often I ate as much as I was stringing!

Grandfather said he could not understand why people would kill trees and bring them inside the house for only a few weeks. The trees were an alive being and had things to teach us and to help us. He thought the idea was crazy. He thought putting out seeds, nuts, berries and popcorn for the birds on the trees was much saner (and fun!)

At night we would heat up small irons (like flat irons) in the stove and when they were warm, we would put them into little wool envelopes and put them in our beds to help warm them up. We would keep them inside the beds during the night as that would help keep our feet (and bodies) warm. For bathroom breaks, we had what we called "chamber pots" that we would empty in the mornings and late in the afternoon before dark.

I always enjoyed these visits!

I never thought that it was a hard way to live. I thought it was great and always looked forward to going to see Grandfather!

NEW for 2015! Snake Dream and Art!



More Stories about my Childhood with Grandfather:

 Blueberry Time

Making Maple Syrup

 "Spring Song"  


"The Five Stones": Grandfather teaches me about the Five Stones of Living

The Give Away

Ordinary Day  Grandfather teaches me about being grateful for each day and the "ordinary" things of life.

Grandfather and the Breezes



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