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Monday, February 1, 2010

Simple Joys on a Snowy Day

This afternoon, Ethan, my dad, and I went down to woods (while my mom played with the kids) to get some firewood for the next couple weeks of winter.

It was a beautiful day for being outside in the woods with the large fluffy snowflakes quietly floating down. The air was cool enough to keep me from overheating too much while carrying logs to the wagon, but not too cold to become uncomfortable if I would stop just to look around.

We were able to get a good number of trees cut and into the wagon today, hopefully enough for 2-3 weeks of heat if it doesn't get too frigid in February.

While I was working, I came across another reason why I love it here. Many times I find myself in wonder at the simple things that amuse and bring joy to my one year old. Often I wish to be that easily thrilled. Today, was one of those days where I felt just as amused and thrilled as Isaac: Taking in the beauty of the quite snowy woods, staring wide eyed while watching an 18 inch diameter log accidentally roll 30 feet down a hill - opposite the direction to the wagon, laughing as I tried to roll the log back up the woodsy hill and amused as it gathered the wet snow while becoming increasingly heavy but looking more and more like the bottom of Frosty the snowman, and also becoming confusingly excited over finding a large dead oak tree (where the snowman log originated from) that meant hotter fires and fewer loadings of the stove.

When we first started on this farming journey, there were a lot of romanticized thoughts about starting a small farm from scratch. Many days it has been anything but romantic, and even today brought its share of farm troubles. Cutting wood this afternoon, however, was one of the ways that the Lord not only refreshes me but also reminds me of the simple joys in life.


Wayne said...

This spring you need to keep cutting for next year and stack the wood up in a East/West line at the edge of the woods to dry.

Burning at tree that you just cut is frustrating and wasteful. Even if it was already dead it won't be dry yet. The fires will be hard to start and smokey.

It is a lot of work, but you need to get a year or too ahead because firewood that is dry and seasoned (at least a year after it has been bucked and preferably split) is a joy to burn and you won't use as much of it.

I realize you feel like you are just scraping by, but just like stocking the pantry this will pay off.

The Beginning Farmer's Wife said...

Thanks for the tips. We had hoped to have a good stockpile of wood for this winter, but with all of the farm and house set up, Ethan's town job, and other factors it just didn't happen. We are thankful for friends and family that have helped keep us warm this winter. :) Hopefully this next year!

Rich said...

After a tornado hit the farm, I spent a couple of summers cutting firewood from the downed and damaged trees.

It always reminded me of harvest time and hay baling season, with the added benefit of getting to build something.

You start early in the morning, cut until lunchtime, load and unload the cut firewood, sharpen the chainsaw for the next day, and then eat a huge supper so that you can start all over the next day (or week).

After splitting a few days worth of cutting, I could then build my 'walls' of stacked firewood; long lines of perfectly stacked wood arranged to enhance the landscape.

If I had enough energy and desire, I would try to stack the limbs into piles for the benefit of the rabbits and quail.

There are more benefits from cutting your own firewood than simply providing a heat source.

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