Thanks, Guys

November 30, 2013 § 6 Comments

Morning chores, day before the snow

Morning chores, day before the snow

Zero degrees this morning, the temperature of nothingness, thermometer flatlined, the gateway to true cold. I milked while Penny fed out, tucking my bare fingers into my pockets every few dozen squirts or so, trying to stay ahead of the pain. Out of nowhere, I was visited by the memory of Fin as a young boy, how he’d come into the barn on cold mornings to warm his hands in the downy juncture of Apple’s leg and body. Her “armpit,” he called it.

After chores, I took the boys to check their traps; they’re trolling for muskrat in the river down on the flats. For 45 minutes, I stood in the sun and watched as they chopped holes in the ice, dunking their bare hands to retrieve and set traps. They do this every single morning, and far more often than not, the traps are empty. This does not seem to phase them. Their enthusiasm remains high.

Honestly, I did not expect such perseverance from my sons. It’s been six weeks since trapping season opened, and they have yet to miss a day. Not a single friggin’ day. As I stood there shivering and stomping my feet and swinging my arms and trying to stop myself from asking the fellas to hurry the hell up, I considered my sons’ commitment and I thought about how often I draw inspiration from them. And then I thought (and I was recalling yesterday’s post as I did so) now, there’s something to be thankful for. 

So: Thanks, guys.

§ 6 Responses to Thanks, Guys

  • Robin says:

    I admire your boys’ tenacity. Good parenting, you know. It goes a long way.

  • Nancy Bell says:

    Thanks for your posts – and especially Fin’s reference to the cow’s “armpit” – just how I experienced that soft, warm space, as noted in the “prayer” of gratitude attached. I heard you speak at the VNRC gathering at Farm and Wilderness and would like to be pointed in directions to learn more about Money! I was told about Zeitgeist- the Movie not to long after your talk. If you have recommended links, books, etc. I would welcome them. Just read and am passing around Making Supper Safe. Thanks for sharing/writing! Rill aka Nancy Bell

    • Ben Hewitt says:

      Hi Nancy,

      Sorry for the tardy reply.

      There’s a great series of videos called Money As Debt. Also, David Graeber’s book Debt: The First 5,000 Years is great, if a bit dense in parts.

      Thanks for the note!

  • Hank Bolduc says:

    Gotta love that commitment!

  • Dawn says:

    See, you know a whole lot about gratitude! Maybe you just practice it so naturally that you didn’t recognize it as the big effort others may have to make to find the blessings in their lives. When I am shivering outside waiting for my boys to follow me in the house, I am humbled that people such as you are doing it in single digits and I’m cold and stamping my feet in the 30s! I’m grateful for the knowledge that others are tougher than I am – gives me something to strive toward. Thanks for another great piece of writing!

  • Peter H. says:

    Physiologic adaptation is going on. Those Hewitts have an remarkable tolerance for cold, no matter what they write. (I observed Ben fixing his pig pen in Jan ’13, thinking much the same way he claims to have been thinking in this post.)

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