Back in mid December 2013 Family Kiwidutch were in New Zealand on holiday.
We spent a few days in Christchurch before heading up to one of our favourite places: Hanmer Springs.
We had no sooner arrived and headed off to the hot pools when the season’s firewood delivery truck arrived, and in error, the wood dumped partly in the small shed and partly on the lawn in front of it at the back of the property instead of in the garage.
Jason who runs the Hanmer Holiday Homes rentals apologised for the mix-up, the wood should have gone into the garage and just as we were discussing what to do next, Himself and Kiwi Daughter bounded in: they wanted to be the ones to shift it.
Apparently there is nothing like shifting two and a half cord of firewood to burn off the blues of sitting in a plane for a total of twenty-four hours, they thought the exercise would be great fun. I cautioned Kiwi Daughter against the idea that the first fifteen minutes would be great and then she would want to pack things in, but no… apparently she was even keener than Himself to take on the job. She assured me that she would see it though. I told Jason that everything had been worked out, so everyone was pleased. After long flights I always have more problems with my asthma and my foot was sore, so I headed off to some pain killers, nebulization and a nap, leaving Little Mr comfortably reading comics because he wasn’t keen to join in with the work outside.
Meanwhile Himself and Kiwi Daughter set to work and by the time I woke up they had shifted half of the enormous pile of wood from out of the shed and in front of it and stacked it against the far wall of the double garage.
Even at the half way stage the outside pile of wood reached as high as Kiwi Daughter’s shoulder. She was powering along with no sign or intention of stopping.
I started to take photographs of the work from that point.
Later Kiwi Daughter reluctantly stopped work for dinner, then pushed on, telling us that she aimed to finish everything in one day but it finally got too dark to work or take photographs.
When the light faded we prized her away from the last of it, it was too much to finish safely and yet little enough that it was frustrating.
Kiwi Daughter surprised us by being up bright and early the next day, out at the shed, the steady thud of lumps of wood as they landed in the wheelbarrow being my early morning wake up call.
A little over an hour later Kiwi Daughter and Himself had not only cleared up the wood from the lawn but also cleaned and swept the shed and garage. It was a very impressive feat that earned her a hot meat pie from the local shop, followed by a an extra large helping of gumdrop ice-cream in a cone.
I found out later that day from Himself that Kiwi Daughter’s motivation hadn’t come completely out of the blue. She was twelve-going-on-thirteen years old at this time, and in a strange stroppy pre-teen stage.Therefore like most kids she had been testing parental boundaries, which included months of neglecting household chores.
I had told her several times prior to our trip that she was a lazy kid(which she was at the time) but on this occasion she had said to Himself: “I am going to prove to Mama that I am not lazy!”). This “proof” turned out to be temporary mind you.. it didn’t extend to most holiday chores later, her excuse being “but Mama, I’m on holiday!” I have to say that I was seriously impressed with the work she accomplished, it may have been a one-off but it proved that she has the determination to stick to her guns and finish some seriously hard work, even if the going got tough after a while. I was proud of her… She wanted to prove me wrong, and she did!
The remaining half of the woodpile was up to Kiwi Daughter’s shoulder…
The distance between the shed and the house (garage on the other side of the house per second photograph)
Half of the wood stacked inside the garage whilst I slept…
First thing the next morning this was all that was left…
A shout out to the friendly neighbour who loaned us the wheelbarrow…
Little Mr’s contribution: play with his “plane”…