Bring on the snow! We are the most dangerous kind of preppers- the procrastinators. In June, when we first moved into the cabin, Jim and I promised each other that we would buy our firewood during the summer. We would buy it at the discounted summer rate, and have it stacked by September. This is our third year burning firewood for heat, and for the third consecutive year we spent summer basking in the warmth of the sun, failing to consider any plan for firewood until well after the first season’s snow.
By this time, anyone who sells firewood in the area has sold out for the year. As has been the case for the past three years, we once again find ourselves entertaining these North Country firewood suppliers who chuckle scornfully at us for beginning to look for our firewood stock months after everyone else in our area has had it delivered, stacked, and seasoned.
Fortunately, a neighbor of ours came through. We got a great deal on a pile of log length wood, which has been occupying space in his driveway since his lot was cleared years ago. All other options exhausted, Jim and I agree to take on the task of cutting up the logs into pieces that can be loaded onto our trailer and deposited into a dauntingly large pile on our frozen lawn. Another neighbor gives us the name of a local man who rents out HOMEMADE log splitters for just $40 per day (he apologizes to Jim when he calls to reserve the splitter- apparently he used to charge $35, but has had to increase his prices recently to account for rising costs of gasoline, etc.). Jim’s initial plan was to hand split our firewood, but given that I am useless with a maul (the huge axe-like tool that one uses to split firewood), he is coerced into putting down the cash for the rental of a splitter. Here it is in action!
All in a day’s work…
Jim spent the day chainsawing logs into manageable lengths, which meant that I was the de facto operator of the log splitter. One of my proudest moments occurred when the owner of the splitter arrived to pick it up at the end of the day. In our usual pattern of procrastination (and completely overestimating our abilities) I was forcing our last few logs through the splitter when the owner came to take it away. He was so impressed with my abilities that he offered me a job! In truth, the job was hypothetical, but a compliment from the man who built the splitter (“aftah runnin’ em for 100 years”) is not something I take lightly 🙂
Day two was spent stacking the split logs. Jim carried the logs to the cabin in a wheelbarrow, and I set to work stacking. Our dogs love firewood stacking, as they stealthily steal away logs that look particularly appealing for chewing. I’m sure we have a small supply of half-chewed firewood stowed away in the woods nearby…given our tendencies toward procrastination, this is probably not a bad thing. Maybe our dogs are simply trying to guarantee that some burnable logs will be set aside to keep them warm for next year.
There is A LOT more stacking to be done. Hopefully we will get to it before ski season. If not, we may have to deal with some of our firewood remaining unstacked…just don’t tell the locals!