altOnce upon a time there were a couple of brothers from Alma who decided to enlist in the Air Force. When the enlisting officer asked if either of them had any special skills, he heard the oldest brother say he was a pilot. Very impressed, the officer asked if the other brother had any special skills and the oldest brother replied, “He’s a splitter.”

The officer looked confused, “A splitter?”

“You know, a wood splitter,” the youngest brother said. “He’s the splitter and I’m the pile it,” answered the oldest brother. Are you cracking up yet?

This is the joke my husband’s uncle told me several years ago when we were splitting and piling wood for winter. I had no idea what to think when the old fellow was having a good chuckle at my expense. Ever since then, we never split wood where I don’t think of myself as the pilot…or pile it.

We have been doing clean up in the garden. We are starting to get things around the farm prepared for winter. We’ve moved all of our hay into barns and rotated cattle into new pastures. When my husband assessed our wood pile recently, he noted that it was not large enough to help us heat the house for the entire winter season.

Last weekend, he and our neighbor pulled out the wood splitter and we started to pile it. Since our early married days, we have added four more “pile its” to our crew. They do not find the “splitter and pile it” joke very funny. However, they knew they weren’t going to play until we got all of the wood stacked. Once we finished the first round of logs and stacked it neatly in the shed, we headed out to a field to gather up another pile of logs.

My husband tests my machine skills by getting me to help drive the tractor, skid steer or other equipment every so often. I hopped into the skid steer and was completely out of my comfort zone (my real skill level ends at the farm truck level).

I drove it up the hill to haul stumps. He patiently talked me through how to use the grappling element to pick up several stumps at a time and unload them onto the trailer. It was ridiculous and I really wasn’t good at it at all. There are buttons, levers and it beeps really loud when I backed it up. A few times I grabbed more dirt than stumps and after several attempts my husband decided he wanted to drive it himself.

Once the trailer was filled up, he hauled it down to where we were splitting wood and I managed to drive the skid steer back down to the pile.

We had a good first day of wood splitting and the “pile its” did a pretty nice job of getting it stacked up for winter. I’m looking forward to cozy fires in our house this winter.

I hope you and your family are ready for winter weather too, neighbor.

Jody HarrisEditorial / OpinionsJody Harris,splitter,weather,winter,woodOnce upon a time there were a couple of brothers from Alma who decided to enlist in the Air Force. When the enlisting officer asked if either of them had any special skills, he heard the oldest brother say he was a pilot. Very impressed, the officer asked if...The Ozarks' most read farm newspaper, reaching more than 58,000 readers in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma