Fall is a busy season around here. It is a time for winding up summer projects and there is much to do in preparing for the coming winter months. Although the winters are fairly mild in Oklahoma there are still plenty chores to occupy my time.
There are the obvious things like harvesting, preserving, and storing the last of the summer garden produce. There is the cutting, gathering, and storing the last cutting of the grass hay, which I do by hand.
Finishing up summer projects such as fence repair, building maintenance, checking insulation on water pipes to the house, and winterizing buildings needs to be done. Preparing vehicles and farm implements for winter use and storing the ones that will not be used again until spring is necessary at this time.
It is also time to service chainsaws and get in a winter’s supply of firewood. I do this by hand also, cutting, hauling to house, and stacking. I split it by hand with a 6 lb. maul as I need it.
Time to check out the wood burners and stove pipes to ensure they are in safe condition to use before they are needed.
As the days get shorter and the nights get longer I have fewer hours in a day to get all this done with the passing of each day. Yet, it all has to be done.
Fall is a beautiful time of the year with the cooler weather and the leaves turning their bright colors. The ticks, mosquitoes, gnats (we have sabre-toothed gnats here), and snakes will soon be gone for the winter.The squirrels are busy gathering hickory nuts and acorns. Soon we will see ducks and geese flying over on their way to their wintering grounds. There is much to enjoy in the fall season. To top all this off, this is time for some of the best fishing of the year.
Yet I have very little time to get out and enjoy the season as I would like because of all these things that are necessary for survival. Out here there are no back up systems in place. You do for yourself or you do without.
I have friends in town that envy my life out here in the mountains while sitting on their couch watching TV on the week ends. They don’t realize that out here there are no week ends. Things still have to be done no matter what day it is.
Homesteading is not just the idyllic dream of a cute cabin on a stream with deer and turkeys grazing in the yard. It is also a lot of work.
I would not trade my life for the world. I breath clean air and eat good food that I produced myself. Yes, it is constant work and no matter what the season or what plans you may have made there is always something that has to be done.
It is far different from life in a town or city and homesteading is not a life for everyone, but for those of us that live it we wouldn’t choose anything else.