Country Wisdom from Mom That Holds Up Today



A frequent sight looking out our window
Photo by Bruce McElmurray

The sayings that my mother used to use that I once thought were ridiculous and meaningless have, as I’ve gotten older, lingered in my brain. Now, I they seem to actually have some validity and merit. Some apply while others like the following do not: “I’ll wipe that smile off your face." “Come home when the street lights come on." “Close the door; were you raised in a barn?" “Because I said so."  “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about."

The ones that apply today that come back to sometimes haunt me over my current circumstances on our homestead contain wisdom like: “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today”. Back then, that usually applied to my chores or homework. Today, that applies to much more relevant things.

Fire Starter from a Downed Tree

We have a tree on the edge of our property that blew over and looks like it was hit by lightning at one time. It is a bonanza of excellent lighter for starting fires in our woodstove. A sliver of it will get a fire going fast.

These are overlooked by most people as all they see are tree roots sticking up out of the ground. Some of those roots are so rich in pitch that we use long fireplace matches to light them. I once found an old wood fence post that was the best lighter I have ever had the pleasure to use. Many times when a tree is struck by lightning, the sap/pitch flows down to the roots as the tree dies. When that tree falls over and the roots are exposed, they are full of pitch that has dried and is highly flammable. We discovered this particular source a few years ago, and it is now our secret stash that we use to start fires in our woodstove.

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