Cleaning up the Land…

We had invited company over for the first time since buying Footlights.

Our children have been of course and our family and close friends,  but I’m talking about non-related folk over for a lazy Sunday afternoon…

I’m talking about Daughts’, boyfriend’s family!

We had work to do to clean up the look of the land, although all the grass is dead now so the trees are all that’s green about our property at the moment.

I moved trimmings from the orchard and dumped them behind our fire pit,


after a wheel barrow load or two


I was joined by the boyfriend who fired up the Club Cadet and with the trailer made light work of a hard job.

A few days later I invited Hubs down to the pit for a fire…he’d cut back some of the trees along the lane and we had fresh pine fronds as well as dried up fruit-tree wood to dispose of,


…and some cardboard.

The flames got pretty high


and the embers stayed hot late into the evening…I should have baked potatoes and bread, made hobo packets and graham cracker smores, but I didn’t!

All that wasted heat…

Maybe next time!

The following morning the ashes were still warm… this will be a cozy place to cuddle up to in the winter…

I waited a few more days before grabbing my shovel and pitch fork to begin the hard labour of shoveling out the pit,


Once again the Cub Cadet and attached trailer were drafted into action and Hubs maneuvered into position and we began to dig out the ashes.


The debris was deep and as we drew close to the bottom there was earth from leaves that had fallen into it over the years.


I discovered shoveling is not easy and thanked the Lord I was doing it out of choice not forced…

I always think of the inmates in concentration camps during World War II (made to dig roads in the cold on empty stomachs, weak from fatigue) when I’m doing something that saps my energy and is physically tedious…

A quick prayer of thanks for my freedom drifted upwards with the smoke.

We hosed the pit down and flushed out the vents,


and now it is ready for… je ne sais quois?

I need to re-stack the fire bricks, add a new grate and perhaps a spit and who knows, maybe we’ll have a pig roast for Thanksgiving!

The last thing on our agenda, before company arrived, was the mowing of the front acreage, too much thistle and big blue stem native grasses for the Cub Cadet to tackle.


Happily we found a friendly (and willing) neighbor who agreed to bring his heavy duty machinery to cut it down for us and true to his word he trundled up to our property last Friday and set to work in his trusty, old tractor.

He did a fabulous job and the first swathe he cut filled the air with the pungent sweet smell of pine; I just wanted to follow in his wake,


inhaling the heady aroma.


Instead I lost myself in memories of seeing tractors at work in the fields surrounding my grandmother’s house in Buckinghamshire, longing for it to be my land that was being mowed.

I watched from a distance, thrilled that after all these years I was finally blessed to be a part of the pastoral scene, albeit on the side-lines.

This was my land after all,


And I was wowed!

I want a tractor like that!



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