Annual Festival Of wood

So. How does a sophisticated New Yorker – like me, wind up gleefully chucking multiple cords of wood into stacks for burning in his wood stove? I, who as a child, never even touched a thermostat? An apartment dweller in a large apartment house? It was a gradual submission to life in New England.

I seriously began cutting and splitting wood for my wife’s elderly grandmother. She lived in an 18th-century house that had been built before the word insulation had been coined. For Grandma, I cut, split, and stacked about seven cords a year. The year of Katrina, we purchased the house we currently own, and my first act was to install a wood stove. Being older, I began buying my wood cut and split, but I still had to stack. I decided to call the annual event, The Festival of Wood. I invited friends, neighbors, and family to join the festival: free beverages and pizza. They all thought the drinks and pizza part was fantastic, but I was the one stacking the six cords of wood.

This attitude, I don’t understand. Wood stacking is a beautiful fall activity. The days are getting cooler, the leaves start turning, and your mind turns to days snug in front of the fire while the gale howls outside. 

I have found that neighbors seek to “borrow” wood when the power goes out, and their heat is non-existent, and that family cheerfully visit on snowy days, stuff themselves with goodies, and hog the fire. But, stack wood? Nope.

So I am going to go the cross fit route. I will charge for supervising wood hauling and stacking exercise sessions. You have to use arm, shoulder, hand, legs – all your body to do this. I’ll coach – ” you call that a stack?” then I’ll topple it, and they’ll start over. For this, I’ll quadruple what my wood guy charges me for the wood, and add the “coaching fees” on top. Now I can afford the vacation to someplace warm in February and to hell with filling the stove.

4 Replies to “Annual Festival Of wood”

  1. I’ve always loved stacking wood as long as there were 2 of us doing it. Teamwork always makes the job easier. He used to split the wood with a log splitter then had my (ex) DIL, her father and I all stacking it. Of course the DIL and her dad took home firewood. I was happy to help to feed out little pot belly stove that kept our whole house warm when the power went out. We gave away a lot too. It was pine that you had to be very careful with of course but it was free wood. Never had a weight problem when we worked that hard. Great idea to turn it into and expensive exercise program. No one would get food from me if they didn’t help with the work. Including the grandkids. I must be a lot meaner than you. 😉

  2. Hmmmm. The old “those who do not work, shall not eat.” routine. I like it!
    Stacking and moving wood about really does burn up a lot of energy, and being warm when the power goes out is not a small benefit. When the big piles of wood arrive we get some strange looks, but when the power is out those looks turn a bit envious.
    And, you are right stacking together with someone else not only is faster – it’s fun, you have some great conversations, and good together time.

  3. Good idea! Except I’m not sure you’ll be vacationing too far away from home next spring…. a guy can always dream though. And you never know, I guess. I still have my sights set on Hawaii. Maybe next summer?

Comments are closed.