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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Rain Here

Following a long dry spell, this morning it is raining here, lightly. Though I can't be sure of it, maybe it will rain long enough to stop me from going up on the hill across the creek to continue my wood-cutting and hauling..

Despite the still parlous state of both my feet, especially the right one, I've had a good week with the firewood. All summer, while partially dreading the prospects, I vowed that this year I would start work on it promptly, on Sept 1, and I did. Last year I waited till October, which meant that the heating season was soon upon me, and for a long time I was in the uncomfortable position of seeing my wood being used as fast as I could stack it up -- a big no-no, because one of the joys of cutting one's own wood is watching the pile get noticeably larger every day. Some wood that my good friend up the road, G., gave me, greatly helped me to get through that situation.

So far I've only cut down one trunk of a tall, double-trunked, green, white oak tree, and because I left standing the other trunk, which was growing straighter up, it means that so far this year I have yet to cut down a complete tree. Both trunks were over a foot through at the butt.

Yesterday I fnished sawing up that trunk, and, because of the pain in my feet, I had to take it slow and easy, as I have to do everything else these days. Now I have a lot of splitting to do, which I do by hand with wedges and a splitting maul. And maybe if the rain doesn't last, I'll at least be able to get some of that done today.. I have to split the wood right now instead of waiting till freezing weather when it is much easier to do. The unsplit rounds are too heavy for me to lift into my big garden carts, which I also have to use because something motorized would be too expensive to get and to maintain, plus it would be too dangerous to use on the steep, rough slope where most of our woodlot is located. Loaded garden carts pose their dangers, too, though mainly on to the ankles, when they could cause me to lose my footing on the rough and sometimes slippery ground.

Still I have to keep in mind that I am doing this at an age when most people are either too incapacitated or they are long gone or they are too sensible to have anything to do with something like going into the woods and cutting and carrying and wheeling away firewood. In fact there are very few who do it even among the much younger people on this road. I could, I guess, come up with enough money to get it delivered, all cut and maybe even split, but I still see too many advantages in doing it myself. One advantage is the exercise. Another is being in the woods themselves. Few experiences that I can think of compare with it, especially in a season as beautiful and temperate as the Fall always is here, and we haven't gotten to the best part of it yet.

So I'm highly grateful that it looks as if I just might be able to pull it off for at least another year. I am already about one-sixth of the way through.


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