'Tis the season for wood
Firewood season is again upon us. As wood is a main heat source, we burn about a pickup truck load each week to keep warm. Typically, we have all of our wood cut, split and hauled in long before the first fire is lit, but everything is behind this year. My husband breaking his leg did nothing to help put the wood in the barn, either.
We had about four sticks left from last year to get started with, until an extremely generous friend brought a couple of truckloads out to us a week or so ago. Then, last week, we focused on firewood for four solid days.
Another friend came and cut the trees we felled into pieces last spring, and my husband and I split and hauled for days. (Mostly I split and hauled while he drove and kept me company, but I digress.) Red elm, cherry, white elm and maple are among the most prevalent varieties this season. Thank God for our log splitter! Without it, that elm would never be split. It is one of the hardest, stringiest woods I’ve ever seen.
On Saturday, we turned off the wireless fence and took the dogs up into the pasture with us for a couple of hours while we worked. Our Lab, Molly, and our newest dog, Brick – a rottweiler/shepherd mix named after his favorite toy – had an absolutely wonderful time. They ran back and forth with the kids, chasing every stick of wood that was thrown to them. Brick spent his time dragging, pushing and chewing on each piece he could sneak away from the kids.
He cracked me up a few times by jumping into the cart that I was filling and rolling around on the wood in it. Then he would lie there, paws in the air, panting and grinning as wide as his mouth would allow. It made it much more difficult to fill the cart, as I was afraid of hitting him with a log, but so worth it to see how much fun he was having.
When it was time to return to the house, Brick didn’t want to go. It was his first trip outside the fence, and I think he wanted to keep playing. I also think that he is terrified of the cows that he had to pass by to get back to the yard. He nearly got himself run over as he tried to cower under the tractor tire for a few minutes. Finally, my oldest daughter tied a string to his collar and led him out of the field.
After several hours each day, we have about 75 percent of our wood under roof. There are a few pieces in piles yet that need to be picked up, and I have a couple hours of splitting yet to complete, but we should be warm nearly until spring.
The job, which is often a long and tedious process, didn’t seem quite as difficult when completed with family and aided by friends. It didn’t hurt to be entertained by a couple of carefree dogs, either.
Laura Zoeller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.