In the winter months we sure rely on out little man. He has three household chores that he gets done every morning before breakfast: (1.) Gather & take out the garbage, (2.) Vacuum different rooms in the house (we have a chart for what rooms on what days), and (3.) Bring in a load of wood. That's a lot, but he does it well ...
... especially the bring-in-the-wood-part.
We have a woodshed in the side-yard next to garage. We get our wood a two different ways:
(1.) We find dead trees in the woods, cut it down and split the logs ourselves,
(2.) We buy pre-split wood from the local Amish youth-group or other friends.
Here are some related posts ...
- Splitting Wood & Building Men
- Gathering in the Wood as a Family
- Brothers Do Grow Up
My brother fills the wheelbarrow with a load, wheels it over to the garage where he puts all of the wood into our wagon. The wagon is cleaner than the wheelbarrow because the closest it ever gets to mud is the garage steps -- that's why the wagon is allowed inside and not the wheelbarrow.
The wagon is carefully navigated through the laundry room and the nook hallway into the kitchen where the masonry heater is. Then my brother takes the wood out of the wagon and stacks it in the wood-box -- well, it's more like a wood-cave, but same idea :)
It's a big job and I'm proud of him every morning -- and grateful because the house gets cold without the wood.
Sometimes, if he gets all of his chores done with time to spare, my brother also builds the fire and he's very good at it.
Our masonry heater is a conversational piece. It completely heats the upper story of the house with one burn a day -- which is unheard of it you don't know much about wood-burning stoves or fireplaces. When we build the house, my Dad worked with our mason to design it around a kit we had bought from Europe.
We can bake in it and cook on top of it as well as watch the fie dance from both the kitchen as the living room. There's a trap door inside the fireplace itself so, in the morning, when everything is cold inside, we just have to open that trap door and push all the ash down the chute. All of the ash goes into a cinder block enclosure int eh basement that we open and clean out once a year.
Self reliance. It's what my family loves. Part of self-reliance is being confident and able enough to do do hard things. I think my little brother is on the right track.