Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Lazy Farmer

The Lazy Farmer. Being a poem by my grandfather a few year before he died.

The Lazy Farmer

This weather with its ice and snow
and temperatures that drop too low
may suit the kids just perfectly
but I can't stand this kind of cold
if when its zero, I expose
my nose and ears, they're quickly froze.
No longer can my old legs lift
me through a frigid waist-deep drift
and even if they could, I'd wheeze
so much my ancient lungs would freeze.
My sense of balance has grown dull
a hog in ice is more graceful
than me, I either break my crown
or crash-land right where I sit down.
When winter blizzards blanket us
with snow it's much too dangerous
for me to venture out of doors
to help Amelia with the chores
and though I surely wish I could
I do not dare try chopping wood
for fear I'd hurt myself and she
a lone widow then would be.
It's foolishness of me to court
such danger, I can best support
the efforts of my loving spouse
by staying safely in the house
and keep logs roaring in the fire
so when Amelia starts to tire
she quickly can thaw out and then
get back to work outside again --

So please do not blame me
because it fits here perfectly. 

February 4, 1962

Richard von Berthelsdorf

He was around 85 when this was written and my grandmother perhaps 73 She made it past the 100 year mark. Possibly because "woman's work" at Trail's End  involved a great deal of hard labor.
The house continued to be heated by wood, there was no plumbing, and kerosene supplied the light at night for my grandmother well after he passed away.  The house to this day is without plumbing or electricity.


  1. That is, as they used to say, cool. My grandparents lived much the same lifestyle.

  2. Thanks! my cousin just discovered this in some of my aunt's old papers.

  3. Interesting, and very similar to The Lazy Farmer which was a regular feature in the Free Press Weekly in the late sixties and early seventies. Unfortunately I only saved a few of them and have never been able to find a collection of the whole series. They were great. I posted the odd one in my blog.

    1. I remember reading that post. One of the reasons I posted this. That and Budde's blog of course. .

  4. Awe, I love this. It reminds me of my dad. He lived to be 94 and would have had no electricity if it hadn't been for my mama. He would've been 110 by now. Your grandpa sounds just like him. I miss all of the older people. They were an open history book. Thanks for sharing this.