The Road Home

The Road Home
There is no place like home.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

To Chore or Not To Chore

A number of years ago we were visiting with a doctor. I don't recall the exact topic of the conversation, probably something about keeping things going at home. His comment was, "That's why they're called chores." Chores are just something you do, most of them everyday. Seasonal chores, daily chores and some people have weekly chores, and I guess there are some we do monthly. 




Getting the chores done is what keeps things going around the homestead. Chores aren't punishment, but they can be. Chores aren't meant to be fun, but they can be. Some think of a chore as a negative, it all depends on how you look at it. 






Frank used to teach his high school kids this story. Picture two guys working on a car, both are changing a water pump. One man is building him a hot rod, and he loves changing that water pump. The other man is working on a piece of broken down equipment, and he does not love the job he is doing. Both are doing the same thing, it all depends on how you look at it. Some kids love feeding their dog, and some kids hate feeding their dog. 






Would you consider making a living a chore? For this conversation we are. Some people love their jobs, some people performing the same job, hate their jobs. I was at a function not too long ago and overheard someone say, " You're not supposed to like your job. It's just a job." Kind of like chores, I guess, some people like them and some people don't. 



But it dawned on me that some people don't do chores anymore. Some people leave their trash where it drops. Some people don't appreciate anything. I used to give things away to people that I thought were needy, and I quickly learned that when people have nothing invested in something, then it often means nothing. Example: We used to raise dogs, nice dogs and charged a nice price for them, too. But on occasion, we would give a dog to a needy family. Those animals were seldom ever treated well or respected. The folks that paid top dollar for an animal, took a whole lot better care of it. I used to give away a lot of chickens, still good hens, producing. Then you hear talk come back around of how stupid that guy is that gives away things. So I don't give things away anymore either. Sometimes I may charge a dollar or two, but I don't give them away.



So, what does that have to do with chores? I think if you do a chore everyday, or weekly, or whenever, you have a vested interest in it. I wish everybody could find some happiness in doing chores. Many a child has been taught to feel that he or she is a contributing member of a family by doing the smallest chore. So, are chores good for you? People that were raised doing chores would tell you, yes, of course they are. People that drop their trash on the floor and wait for someone to do everything for them, would probably tell you that doing chores is stupid or beneath them.

Frank's Daddy did this in World War II.

I have only changed a couple of diapers in my life, and it's not a chore that I would enjoy doing. And I don't think I could kid myself to where I could find it to be enjoyable, until you look at that smiling baby. Then you know that someday that child will be doing chores, too. I don't think that our society values doing chores anymore. I wonder if my daddy and all my uncles considered fighting in World War II a chore? Maybe one of those
things that you just do for your country? Yea, I wonder where 'chore' picked up the bad meaning along the way? So, is it a chore to load everybody up on a Sunday morning and go to church? It would be easier to stay in bed, wouldn't it?


Gotta go. Got chores to do.

We'll talk more later, Frank.


16 comments:

  1. This post really hit home. Thanks for writing it.

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    1. You're welcome. Thank you for reading.

      Frank

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  2. I don't really think of what we do here at Rocky Oak as chores....It is our life, it is just what we do...it is just the way it is...We love it so don't consider it a 'chore' to feed the goats, chickens, turkeys, dogs, cats or cows....It is really an honor and blessing to be able to live this life and even more an honor and blessing to even have a job in these times...society has lost focus...I give NOTHING away any more...we too raise and sell dogs and they are not little 400 and 500 dogs...so we know when they are bought they are going to a good home that will love and respect them...I keep in touch with many of the clients that buy dogs from us it is a blessing...we are a blest people/nation and don't even realize...If you have "chores" to do you are blessed...it means you can walk, talk, breathe, and have a home, critters,and maybe some land...So to us, the inhabitants of Rocky Oak...we don't have chores, we have blessings *smile* Nice post!

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    1. That's a great philosophy, and a very healthy one, too. Fern and I have never shied away from work, but we've never shied away from play either. We live in the best place there is, and our favorite place to be is home. I wish more people could see and feel the satisfaction that we feel with our lives. But I believe most, even if they stood right beside us, would not see the satisfaction that we do. Most now days want immediate gratification and some, when they are lucky enough to receive it, end up losing it. There are few young people that choose the life that Fern and I have chosen. They just don't want to do the work. Someone commented in our barn once that they couldn't afford a concrete floor, and I was twice this man's age when I got my first barn with a concrete floor. Thanks for your good comment.

      Frank

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  3. Super Post! There were days in winter when going out in -20 weather with a horrible wind would try my determination! Then standing in the shelter of the calf shed watching the cattle eat made the "chore" so worth it. We as humans need to work to be healthy mentally and physically. It is the end of a job well done that no one will know about that is good for the soul! A clean barn, a tilled garden, a new fence make all the difference in how we live! I just did the dishes and have laundry going, chores that will give us clean clothes and things to cook and eat with....yup they are chores but they are needed!

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    1. Fiona, what's a clean barn? You're right about the satisfaction received that no one else will ever see. And I like having clean dishes and clean clothes, it's a good life. Thanks for the comment.

      Frank

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  4. To me doing chores gives you a feeling of accomplishment. It feels good at the end of a busy day to know that things got done. Thanks for the blog.

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    1. A little humor here. Back before we started living this type of life, we could actually go to family reunions, visit people and take vacations. At one time, we even had a motor home. Now, reality. I can't go over two hours away from home, nor do I want to. But, I sure did like that motor home. But you still had to do the chores, the bugs need scraping off the windshield, the tires needed checking, the gray water and black water had to be emptied, and the laundry still needed doing. CHORES-R-US.

      Frank

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  5. For some reason, this brought to mind a situation that is happening more and more...do people consider it a chore to wash their hands after using the restroom. Is it really a hard thing to do when water, soap (usually), and towels are available in public restrooms? Have we gotten so lazy that just being clean is a chore?

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    1. There seem to be many things like that missing in our society now days. Thanks for the comment.

      Frank

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  6. Just driving around the country you can see how lazy people have become. Value of work is no longer taught. It is sad!
    Great post!

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    1. I think you're right. Maybe it's a much larger social issue that we don't study or see. But, I believe the value of work is not stressed anything like it was before. Maybe this is just part of our basic societal decline. Thanks for reading.

      Frank

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  7. I never minded chores related to the farm, the best part was working together with my husband. It just felt good! Housework, on the other hand, is plain work, my job and I hate it, ha ha.

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    1. I have to say, I agree, in both cases. Housework is not my favorite chore, by any stretch of the imagination. I would rather be outside getting dirty doing some other chore. But the best part of life or any chore, is doing anything and everything with my husband. Thank you very much for this comment.

      Fern

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  8. Great photos and much needed words of wisdom. I think the routine of chores gives us a badly needed routine in life. It makes things easier too, because I don't constantly have to be figuring out what to do. My chores lay the framework for my day. Odd projects fill in the rest.

    I've noted a terms on British programs, like All Creatures Great and Small, "a job of work." I always thought that an odd saying, but have more recently figured it must mean the non-routine jobs that come up, as opposed to chores which are routine. Both keep the homestead going!

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    1. Routine does get things done in a more organized, structured manner and is usually more productive. There is a peace that comes with the rhythms of daily life.

      Fern

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