Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer luggins...

I am one of those people who happen to love stacking firewood. Along with pleasing my wife by making everything neat and orderly, there is something satisfying about taking hundreds of pieces of cut wood and placing them one atop the other, sometimes six feet high, and having them stay put. Much like shoveling snow, there's something to see when you're done...the accomplishment is there before you.

During days gone by, I'd stack the wood and cover it with tarps, brown tarps, green tarps...all very fashionable out here in the keep the wood dry after it was stacked and to prevent snow from accumulating on it.

Well, that was the idea. Of course, the tarps developed holes, the snow and ice got through, and soon there would be large numbers of pieces of wood stuck together. Then, once the snow got high enough, you'd have to rip the tarp off the pile to get to the darned things, big chunks of ice would fall of the piles taking out a toe or two, and half of the piles would fall over. Dragged into the house, the snow and ice would create large puddles all over the place, and the wood would just smolder in the wood stove.

The idea is that a wood stove is a different kind of heat (just like Arizona, it's dry and hot...until the snow gets to it).
By Spring time there would be lots of wet wood and shreds of plastic stringy things that would be unidentifiable as one-time covers.

My wife wanted a wood shed. She got Bobby to make one and she loves it. I still do the ordering, oversee the delivery (that's when the truck drives over the front yard and dumps four cord of wood on the side lawn that no grass grows on any more), and I stack. She loves the wood shed. I think because it causes order and she can keep order in the house when I'm not in it.

I always wondered why I liked stacking wood. It gets me outdoors (away from everyone else, as no one wants to help stack), it's mindless work (I get to think about everything else to excess), and when it's done it looks real nice. It makes me feel like a competent engineer...and there's something artistic about the result. A free standing sculpture!

Today, for the first time, as I was lugging wood from a stack on the outside to place it in the shed, I thought of my great-grandfather on my mother's side and my great-great grandfather on my father's side. Both were farmers and, by all accounts, very successful ones. To be a good farmer, I think, things have to be in order and I bet their wood piles were nice and neat...maybe that's where I get that from. It's as close to being a farmer as I'll ever be (a week of rain and mud talked Theresa out of wanting horses and if you see my flower beds you'll know why I'm not doing any vegetable gardening).

From the other sides of the families I get that other reward for doing all of this work...a nice glass of wine (or two) or a cold scotch and water (or two). Now that I think of that, maybe that's why Great-Uncle Henry lost the farm!

1 comment:

  1. Poor Great Uncle Henry!! This is great. Definitely motivating me.