Don't Let the Fire Die
Jan 20, 2021
I didn’t write a blog last week or the week before, because I was frankly devastated by the attack on the Capitol by the Trump supporters. I’ve been in that stately building quite a few times because I lived near DC and my brother worked at the Library of Congress. I was truly shocked and saddened. The day that all of this was going on, I actually looked up news channels and watched some of it online. I found it disturbing and sickening but mostly just sad. I cried all day that day.
But I don’t want to write about that.
It’s only now that I feel ready to resume normal life.
My plan for my blog 2 weeks ago was to talk about the wagon that Bryan ordered me online. What a pain in the neck it was for me to put together and what a help it’s been in moving the firewood that was delivered probably over a month ago.
That wood was dumped in my backyard. I knew I should stack it, but it seemed like SUCH a big task that I found myself questioning, “Why??? Why bother stacking it!?" People say that it makes it dry more evenly but I don’t think that’s likely. It seems to me, with it all smushed up in tight like that, that it’d be hard pressed (get it??) to actually dry out in that position. I figured I should move the wood up a slight incline (a.k.a. a hill) from one side of the house to the other, so I could carry it up the stairs to the deck and through the sliding glass door to the woodstove in the middle of the house.
I’m in pain so much of the time. I think it’s a combination of just old age, my back that was broken, and arthritis in my knees and hips. The point is, things that used to be easy are now...not. Just...not.
I keep singing the words to that song, “Even the simple things become rough.” So the idea of moving all that flippin’ wood wasn’t as appealing as it might have been even 5 years ago. I love outdoor work. I love being outside when there’s a task to do. It’s satisfying for my mind, spirit, and it’s a nice honest tiredness for my body afterwards. But it’s much more difficult now, so I thought a wheelbarrow would be the ticket or a nice wagon. I saw a wagon displayed outside at Tractor Supply Company in Chalis. I thought the proper thing would be to purchase it. But it was so cold that day and I didn’t want to get out of my car AND I was pretty daggone sure that it wouldn’t fit in my VW Beetle anyway.
So Bryan ordered me a wagon online. And of course it comes with about 700 pieces and the instructions are IMPOSSIBLE to figure out. But the biggest problem is I don’t have a socket wrench anymore because my toolbox with all of the tools was left in Indiana which is super frustrating because I didn’t know Bryan was going to give it away and I had quite intentionally stored other things in it that I’d need here. So I was using a jewelry wire tool and a pair of pliers and it was crazy challenging. I thought about going to the hardware store to buy the right tool. I KNOW that that would have made a huge difference. But it was exciting right THEN and I didn’t want to walk away from it. I wound up, after a while, putting it up on the dining room table to make it easier to reach. I’d painted the table a couple of months ago and of course, it got scratched quite a bit, but at least I had put about 6 coats of paint on it and had sanded it first so the scratches aren’t too bad. My sister said that there might be a youtube video of how to assemble it, which there was. It looked so EASY on the video. They MUST have had the right tools…
So I got it put together and I’m quite proud of that! I’ve taken it up and down the hill, gosh I don’t know, maybe 20 times already, moving 20 logs at a time, which even with the wagon is physically challenging, and either stacking them near the bottom of the stairs or throwing them up onto the deck close to the sliding glass door. I have to be careful to not hit Leia with one when I do that. She seems very interested in the whole process and usually is hanging near me for all of it.
Two days ago or so, I finally got the wood at the bottom of the hill stacked. It looks nice and that IS saying something. I’m still not sure there was any other reason to stack it. I’ve been spending my days wondering why it’s so hard to start a fire and keep it going all day. I think my wood might be too young to burn well. I’m hoping that the more fires I make, the more I’ll learn and the easier it will become. This week the temperature won’t get over freezing. My heating system is fine, but since I have the woodstove, I think I should use it. So now I have a wagon, and two stacks of wood and I spend my days moving logs from place to place and eventually into the wood stove where I watch it with suspicion, trying to figure out how to get it to burn hot, and then to keep it burning. I haven’t figured it out yet.
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