Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Stacking Wood

One of the tasks I had undertaken when I started visiting my parents was restocking their wood pile by the house.  They had plenty available (it seems it was one of my father's few hobbies that stayed with him the longest), but he would only get enough to fill the back of his Gator and bring it to the house.  So I would take 40 minutes or so and load up the back of the house - "I am not working out and need the exercise" I would always tell him so he could not object.

They are not here now, of course.  But I keep stacking the wood regardless, perhaps a way to keep the reality of things at bay.



This wheelbarrow predates me.  I remember it from being very young, helping my father mix up cement to build the retaining walls at the house I grew up in.  The hands are a lot more worn, the wheel has been replaced, and one of the four bolts holding the body to the handles is now held by a non-original screw - but it still works fine.


This is the wood pile I have been pulling from most of the year.  The wood is not in great condition, but it still burns.  I have completely unloaded three ricks between October and now; I expect I pull down one more before our fire season is done.

This is the other woodshed with the well seasoned oak.  I almost loathe burning it now - even the remaining ones by the house - because I know it will be some long years before we see this kind of wood - and the fact that it will all have to come from me at this point.

These are the piles of wood ready to split - they were ready to be split in Spring of last year, but my father had started to slow down because of shoulder issues even then.  And this does not account for the trees fallen by the local power company to protect the lines which are still around the property.  I think I could easily collect enough wood for the next 10 years - if I had more places to store it and I have the time to cut it.

I have some vacation coming.  Maybe I will split wood.


 This was the end result - Not a lot of wood, but enough for me over the next two weeks.  

There is something satisfying about stacking wood - even when, in this case, the main reason for stacking it is gone.

20 comments:

  1. I grew up in an old two story farm house heated by one single wood burning stove so I know a lot about wood and stacking. When I moved into this house eight and a half years ago, the property was full of dead trees so I cut up a few of the best for firewood and threw the rest down into the ditch below. I'm still burning those three threes and the wood burns really really quickly these days because it is so dry. I can't even hardly take a nap for fear the log I put on will be cold ashes when I wake up. I've been thinking about cutting another "fresher" tree and keeping it separate so that I can throw one of those logs on before I feel a nap coming on while still burning the original wood during my awake time.

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    1. Ed, my father largely heated with heat here. Gene Logsdon noted in a book that there is something about the heat of a wood fire that is not the same as any other heat, no matter what the temperature.

      It is surprising how much more quickly some of it burns.

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  2. Anonymous3:32 AM

    That wheelbarrow is a connection with your Dad over the years which cannot be replicated. As is your work with re-supplying the wood which is burned over the year.

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    1. It is true, Anonymous. I think about him every time I trundle the wood back and forth.

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  3. I think it centres the soul, myself. I could go for a few afternoons with the axe myself....

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    1. Glen, one of Gene Logsdon's finest articles in his book Living at Nature's pace is about cutting wood. It is enough to make anyone want to take it up.

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  4. I love seeing a well stocked woodshed. Wealth! Plus a feeling of satisfaction for a purposeful job well done.

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    1. It is a beautiful thing Leigh. It means that if the power goes out or the propane runs out, there is still light and heat.

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  5. Whoever stays there and wants to take the chill off the old fashioned way will be grateful you did that, TB. *hugs* and God bless.

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    1. Thanks Linda. Since I am the one staying here now, I will be the sole beneficiary of my labor. Which is okay - I like a warm fire like anyone else!

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    2. And perhaps fodder for Seneca as well... :)

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    3. Linda, so that is an odd situation. In some meaningful ways, I am finding that I am living Seneca's life right now. It is the most unanticipated thing ever. It has definitely given me some perspective on things.

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  6. Thought I would add that we had the same wheelbarrow on the farm, except I think all the screws had been replaced at one point. Then one day I went home and there is a bright orange one in its place. It has never felt "right" like the old one did.

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    1. Ed, I do not think you can even get this model anymore. The wood under the handles could use a bit of reinforcing.

      And you are right - it would not be the same without it.

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  7. I find splitting and stacking firewood to be enormously satisfying, almost a meditation. 'Reading' a bolt to see where the split is going to work. Oak is beastly difficult, often getting a wedge stuck in a big bolt and needing a second; Madrone when green cuts and splits like butter. Our local wood now is Lodgepole Pine and Juniper, both of which burn nice but not long, so I have the annoyance of stoking the stove on a cold night more than once. But I have the old mans alarm clock of bladder pressure to get me up for it.
    Continued prayers for your parents that they can both find peace within the limitations of age and disability. And for you and your sister TB, you've both done what duty requires and then some.

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    1. Greg - We get mostly oak and pine here, with a healthy dose of madrone. The pine makes me the saddest when I put it in, because it will burn the hottest and quickest. The oak is much better, but I begrudge burning it.

      Thanks for the prayers. They are continuing to do okay and we are proceeding as we can, day by day.

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  8. When I was on the farm in France I used to like collecting fallen branches and bringing them back to the house to cut up. There is something very therapeutic about such a simple, but energetic, task.

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    1. Agreed Vera. I have to tell you I have been eyeing the deadfall as I walk here too - easily enough to keep someone in firewood for quite a while.

      It is very therapeutic.

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  9. I read the title as Stacking Wool... I was a little puzzled as to why anyone would want to stack wool. Good grief! Too much knitting in my life right now, I guess. :^D

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    1. If it makes you feel any better, I had to check to the title to make sure I did not write that!

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