Time: 0320
Temp: 46 Degrees
The wife pokes me awake.  She does it nicely. Whispering my name from the end of the bed repeatedly until I mumble a reply.
“Coffee is brewing.” she says when I mumble a reply. 
“ugh… what time is it?”
”3:20… sorry, I overslept a little”
”that’s ok.”
I roll out of bed and she rolls back in.  There are things to get done and I’m already late.  I get dressed and stumble outside for a quick look.  It’s beautiful.  I can see a cloud and all of the stars are shining brightly.  The moon rides low in the sky.  I love this time of day.  The “Oh My God it’s Early” time of morning.  As I wander out to the car to get the stuff I need I hear a car pass by on the highway and wonder where that person has to go at 3:30 in the morning.  It’s the only car I’ll hear for several hours.

I get a roll of fencing (36” X 50’) out that was produced from an emergency run to Lowes late last night.  They’re open until 10 on Friday night… 9 the rest of the week, unwarranted panic was the result. 

I toss a box of paper (“must burn” bills, credit card receipts, etc)  onto the prebuilt fire and pour a little lamp oil on it just to be sure that it gets going.  I needn’t have worried.  Also on the fire is our Christmas tree which is still bright green but decidedly dead. When the fire touches the Christmas tree the whole thing flares up and burns white hot for several minutes.  The fire is lit.  Trust me, you DO NOT want one of these suckers catching fire in your house.  You won’t put it out with a water hose.

The fencing is rolled out on a table and then it’s off to the guest bath where the pig spent the night on ice.  The butcher claimed that this pig weighed in at 55 lbs.  As I lift it out of the tub and onto shoulder I do not feel ripped off… 55lbs of dead weight is heavy.

The pig is laid out on top of the fence that I’ve rolled out on a folding table and then the fence wire is folded back over the top of it.  The two halves are tied together with various bits of wire so that our dinner is encased in the wire and can’t get away.  A metal bar is woven into each side to further tie the wire together and provide a support for hanging the whole mess near the fire.  The wired up pig is hung from a “fence stretcher”  this is a short piece of pipe with three hooks on one side and a metal ring on the other.  It’s used to tighten fencing when you’re putting it up but works nicely for this.  It looks a bit like a singletree with a third hook.


Time: 0420
Temp: 46 Degrees

The pig is hung by the fire and my mess cleaned up.  I run back inside and switch to a warmer shirt.  The coffee that I stared longingly at earlier is ready and waiting.  I pour a cup and go back outside.   As I walk out the first flight of the day passes overhead on the way to KCLT.  He’s still up pretty high, I guess about 4000 feet AGL, but in the quiet of early morning it sounds loud.  I know that there’ll be three more flights arriving in the next 15 minutes and then it’ll be quiet again for a few hours.  I don’t know what the flights are or where the originate.  I just know that there are three of them to be expected on Saturday mornings.  Other flights will arrive throughout the day but they’ll be missed in the activities of the day. 

I take my coffee and go sit by the fire and turn the pig to heat it evenly.  It’s peaceful work that I’ll be doing all day.  Through the woods I hear the neighbors dog drag his chain across his doghouse.  It’s a sound that I immediately recognize and I wonder how many others would know that sound.   Somewhere a rooster wakes up and gives a call for the sun… he’s early.  He can wait.  Turn the pig.


Time: 0545
Temp: 46 Degrees

Still turning the pig.  Watching the fire.  I decide that I want to share what I see so drag an extension cord out to the fire and fetch a laptop.  My wireless reaches out here easily.  For the next hour I write and turn the pig.

Time: 0634
Temp: 47 Degrees
The sky is lightening up and there’s not a cloud in it.  @Willathome who was tasked with praying for good weather today must be living right because he’s worked out a fantastic deal.   The sky fades from nearly white on the eastern horizon to pink to pastel purple to blue. I am in awe… as is normal… at what He has wrought.  The Sun will arrive soon and start warming things.  The birds are already awake.  I can identify some of them by their calls but there’s such a medley of them right now that I can’t separate them.  I hear the deer feeder down the hill trigger and toss a pound of corn to the ground.  A dog barks in the distance.  A turkey gobbles. The fire burns.  The pig turns.

Hog Log

4 thoughts on “Hog Log

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  • April 10, 2010 at 2:47 am

    Just read your 2009 blog. One year later we’re making plans to join you for the 2010 Edition of Hog Log Live I can’t wait. I have one of our dishes on the stove and a second one waiting it’s turn. After reading through your blog, I’m concerned…. Not sure if my side dishes will meet head on with the Big Pig and all it entails.

    We are looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow. Stay warm. Get some shut eye as the pig turns. We’ll be thing about you guys and saying a little prayer. (It appears that someone has already prayed up on the beautiful weather request so we will focus on some other areas of need.)

    Happy BBQ Day Eve.

  • April 10, 2010 at 6:34 am

    Fantastic! Can’t wait to see what you bring us.


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