I had a nice windfall come my way this past month. Not the kind where “I had a rich uncle kick the bucket leaving me sitting on a pile like Warren Buffet”*. Way better! Best text message of 2017 was from my fellow fishing bud Ryan letting me know that a gigantic Douglas Fir had fallen on his property during one of our many January wind / snow storms. He needed some bad ass with a chainsaw and a big truck to help come take care of it**.
My abode has a wood stove on one side and a wood burning fireplace on the other making me obsessed with hauling, splitting, and heating with fallen firewood. I must have some serious Alaskan homesteader DNA in me somewhere because I acquire, split, store, move, and move again, my firewood supply year round and wouldn’t think of ever paying for delivered split would again. Given the seasoning time for most hard woods, I like to be working on firewood 1.5 to 2 years out from burning making the side of my house look like a country homestead most of the year.
It’s basketball season for both my boys, so in between games on a sunny Saturday a few weeks ago, my oldest son Gavin and I joined Ryan, along with his neighbor Rob (another fellow fisherman) to get to work on the thigh high Douglas rounds. After a couple hours of work and at least 8,000 calories burned, I had a truck full of heating gold that later this spring I’ll split up and store for drying in prep for winter 2018-19.
I love the old saying that firewood warms you twice; once when you split it and a second when you finally burn it. I tend to agree with the Old Farmer’s Almanac that the benefits are much greater than just the two times. The free exercise warms you more like seven when you take into account the various times it gets moved. More importantly, I am blessed with the lessons being taught to both my boys as we’ve worked on the firewood supply together over the years. I mean, what’s more manly than chopping firewood while building up the work ethic of 8 and 6 year old boys?
**Slight exaggeration. Ryan owns the same saw as me. And Rob has an F150 too but a much bigger chainsaw.