Friday, April 1, 2016


We heat our house mostly with wood, burning about 5-6 cords of wood every year in our parlor stove, so every other year I order an 11 cord logging truck load of logs from my friend Linsdsay

Lindsay works just about around the clock right before the spring breakup - when the county puts the load restrictions on the roads and he can no longer haul logs.  Of course, all his firewood customers like me  want their logs before the breakup.  March is a good time to saw logs, much better than May.

Lindsay knows his business.  He deftly maneuvers that long boom and makes it look the  claw is just an extension of his hand.

I'd like to say this is the fun part, but frankly it's hard work.  I once figured that it takes me about 20 fills of gas in the chainsaw to buck up a load of logs into splitting lengths.   You wind up wrestling heavy logs into position and then throwing the blocks into a pile.  I usually saw two gasoline fills worth of logs in an evening and sharpen the chain after each fill.  It takes about a week or so to get back into shape for this work.

Once this part is finished, we still have to split the wood and stack it for drying.  In the fall it has to be hauled into the basement and stacked again.  Then it has to be hauled upstairs to the parlor stove.  Later the ashes have to be removed...wood heats you in many ways.
So why do I do it?  I guess I'm just plain dumb, but like they say in Canada, if you're gonna be dumb you better be tough,  and making firewood does toughen you.  Besides, I can heat the house and sauna for a couple of years for a thousand bucks.  That's the main reason.  But I have to admit that there's a real satisfaction in seeing that log pile disappear.  It feels good to do physical work.  Our bodies were made to do physical work, not just sit to behind a computer and talk on the phone.  People have forgotten that the word digital is derived from digits, your ten fingers.  The human hand is one of the greatest marvels in all of creation, and certainly can be used for more than swiping a touch screen.  So in may own way I am promoting a true digital - ie. manual - revolution.  Work with your hands and work up an honest sweat.  You'll  have something to show for it at the end of the day, and you'll sleep better too.

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