Shorts

Here’s a pile of “shorts,” odd ends and pieces of wood that are not the regular, cut to length, easy to stack firewood pieces sold to customers. Are they pitched over the bank, because they certainly don’t stack at all, sometimes have to be wrested into the stove, and aren’t pretty?

No, family use. Same reason Mom scraped the burnt off the toast and ate it herself, same reason if maple cream comes out grainy, the family uses it up, same reason a farm family gives for making good use of all that isn’t fit to sell, not perfect, not regular, but, perfectly usable. Little, bite by bite ways farm families build up their business. Little sacrifices that end up adding up. Interesting how that provokes in one the satisfied, even excited feeling that comes from carrying homemade bread and butter, when the other kids at school got to have store bought, off to work with a dinner pail and a thermos, saving bits of money here and there, that add up to buying a calf, or a pickup, or some tool or other, to build up the farm.

Using up the shorts.

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