Stop and smell the wood

Sal and I have been getting in the winter wood the last two days.  I buck the rounds, Sal wheelbarrows them to the wood shed and then we split ’em and stack ’em.  We have the system down pretty pat.

The really interesting thing (for us) is that we brought the logs up the hill over the last two years until we had a pile and then left them there, all higgly-piggly in a heap off to the side. Off the ground, tho.  The theory was that they would dry.

Of course, a log doesn’t dry like stacked wood does but it turns out that the theory was right. After two years, the logs were pretty dry.  We are stacking just-split wood that is 90% as dry as it will get. It is already quite burnable.  We had half a woodshed stacked anyway so the wood in it is already three years dry and the new stuff won’t be touched for likely two years or more so we are good to go.  We are now at the point that we only have to ‘do’ the wood every other year.

Which is good.  Because I am getting sore.  For me, it is my lower back.  Poor me.  Sal? “Nothing.  I am good.  Nothing sore.  Good to go.”

The woman is a rock.

Two young men came by today to take away one of our boats.  I sold them the old Surf. Great boat.  I will never use it now.  I have Wasabi and Aubergine.  They will put to good use the old Surf.  It is like a mini barge.  Great for carrying stuff.

I look at them…early thirties….setting up life off the grid….working up north…..working long hours, making cash and getting time off to spend on building their dream.  They will do one guy’s site work first.  Then the other guy gets a hand doing his.  Bloody bril.  No condo. No Starbucks.  But they have work trucks, D has a big backhoe.  They have boats.  They have tools.  They have skills.  And they work a lot.  Did I mention they are in the early thirties?

Their ride is just beginning. My back is sore after two days.

But that is OK.  Sore back?  So what!  It still works.  We still work.  Work gets done.  We are good.  And, even better…?  After four more days we will have the woodshed all full again and a day after that my back will feel fine.  Sal?  She’ll be quilting like hell to make up for lost time.

But, back to the blog title….I kinda went off on a tangent……sorry….

Sal and I are working away like the efficient duo we are.  Sal stops.  “What kind of wood is this?  It smells nice.  Here, take a smell” 

“Hmmm……..smells like Cedar but looks like Fir.  Could be Yellow Cedar….. ‘cept this is more pinkish, ya know?”

“Yeah.  Probably Yellow Cedar.  You know, we really should take time to stop and smell the wood now and then.”

Sal used to stop and smell the roses.  Now she stops and smells the wood we chop.  I stop and just wonder about how our life has changed.  I like it.



3 thoughts on “Stop and smell the wood

  1. People smell the roses all the time. I’m ingrained to comment on every little mill we pass. I do like all the aromatic cedars. In particular juniper.


  2. Oh, yellow cedar. That really burns hot. We rarely find a log like that any more. When they log, everything is bundled before it goes into the booms. What we find is the old stuff that floats back and forth form shore to shore between high and low waters. If it makes it as far as the dam, the salvage guy gets them and takes them out to sell. – Margy


    • Us, too. We get the flotsam. The wood is not ‘merchantable’, as they say. But, now and then, once in awhile, a nice one comes along. STILL not merchantable, not really. ‘Cause we like the 8 inchers. What are they gonna get from an 8-incher? By the time they square it off it is a 4×4. And I think that is why they (the ubiquitous they) don’t care. The ‘good logs’ don’t get away but they are way too big for us anyway.


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