Stacking firewood

A load of firewood arrived earlier this week. The man from the lumberyard drove the truck around the property to the side of the house where we stack it. That makes the job easier instead of bringing it there by wheelbarrow.

Now that we live in Taos, we only need one cord of mixed soft wood to last the winter. During the night — and on those rare stretches of gray days — we feed the small Morsø wood stove in the great room. It’s the only heat we need what with the passive-solar design of our house. We haven’t had our first burn this fall even though it’s dipped into the 20s at night.

Last year, we didn’t burn a whole cord because winter ended early. When I removed the tarp today from the two short rows left, I was startled when mice poked their heads between the top logs.  They found a home. I let them be.

Back East, stacking wood was a much bigger task. We burned hardwood and it had to be seasoned — let dry — for a year. Each fall we bought three green cords from Dean, who lived in town and cut wood year-round, because it was cheaper than buying seasoned. We let the green wood sit stacked for a year. The next fall we brought as much of it as we could into the walk-in basement and stacked the rest beneath the deck. Then we stacked the three new cords nearby for next year’s burning.

The chore fell to Hank and I although as I recall our three sons were helpful. The girls would start and somehow wander off before the job was finished. We worked at it for weekends.

I don’t mind stacking wood. I like the puzzle of making a free-standing wood pile. You need a solid base and there’s a trick of criss-crossing squarish logs at the ends to keep everything in place. 

I’ve heard firewood keeps you warm three ways: cutting it, stacking it and burning it. Fortunately, I’ve never had to cut it although I’ve split it.

Today, I got a good jump on the first row. I like the clocking sound of wood falling in place. I like the time to think. I sometimes solve the world’s problems. I sometimes solve my own. I work out scenes for my fiction. 

I find it satisfying to watch the neat piles rise, and later in the winter, use the wood to keep us warm.
Firewood ready for stacking. Note the view beyond it.


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