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.