Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Evening to the south, November 22

“I’m not looking forward to it,” I muttered to Mike as we were getting dressed Sunday morning. “I’m not either,” he said.

But it had to be done. The firewood at the farm, now split, had to be moved to shelter, or else it would quickly rot in the field. It would be a big job for the two of us “seniors.” Chores in town gave us a late start. We drove the “new” old pick-up with dogs riding behind the front seat of the expanded cab. (Bess loves it -- Nellie not so much.) We didn’t get into the wood project until nearly 11:00 a.m.

Mike positioned the old pick-up as close as possible to the wood piles in the north field. He tossed the wood into the bed and I stacked it methodically. Our first load was less than half the wood in that area. Then we drove down to the south side of the barn (the open door near the pond) where we parked near the door. (The lay of the land and lack of traction made it impossible to back into the barn.)

Mike leveled an area about 20 feet long near the back wall, which is constructed of farm rock. We soon developed a system. I climbed into the pick-up bed and moved the wood near the tailgate so that he could reach it. He then loaded the wheelbarrow and rolled it to the stack. The distance was only about 15 feet, but it was a lot of back and forthing over unlevel ground. 
With the warmth of the sun in the afternoon, the ground in the north field became muddy, and after the second load, Mike opted to leave the rest of that wood until early Monday morning. Instead, he picked up the pile in the lane. It was getting dark as we loaded it. By now we had abandoned all thought of neatness and just tossed the wood in the pick-up.

Moon approaches full
Work started at 6:45 Monday morning as we unloaded and stacked the wood from the lane. It wasn’t as cold as we had anticipated – only 29 – so again we had to work quickly to unload so that Mike could drive into the north field for that last load. We were finished with that work mid-morning. Mike calculated our firewood in the barn at two and a third cords (a double row 20 feet long by 5 feet high).

Then we moved to the woodshed. That wood had been stacked earlier in the season, but Mike decided to take the stacks down and split the wood with the rented splitter last weekend – a bit of extra work at the time for which he thanks himself now. We re-stacked and covered it. Then I picked up small wood for kindling while Mike cleared the grove of limbs that blew down in last Tuesday’s windstorm.

Of course, I say we were finished, but in actuality this firewood-making will continue for a while. A small pile in the gully is still there until the ground freezes and we can drive to it. And in the spring we will have to address the trees that are still standing. It might be a lifetime supply of firewood. KW


Hallie said...

All of that wood looks like a blessing! No more wood cutting trips, eh?

Kathy said...

Well, getting wood is a year-by-year event. He and Ken make a trip for wood when the Blues are opened in the spring, and Mike said he might like some sub-Alpine fir to mix with the pine.

Chris said...

Around here, wood in the woodpile is happiness. And knowing that you won't have to go far and search (unless Mike wants to) is security.