Stayin’ warm…one way or another…like getting roasted!

Getting in the winter’s firewood……It’s hardly a chore.  Not really.  Sal enjoys fetching and rounding up logs and my part in the wood-gathering process is, if not as much fun, still pretty simple.  Sal rounds them up.  I buck ’em up.  Sal hitches ’em up and then I haul ’em up with the winch.  No biggy….. (of course, the winch packs up, the engines won’t start, the logs sometimes get away, it might be stormy or even snowing and the ground is as steep as base camp at Everest……and then there’s the bleeding….).

Mind you, that is just half the story.  After the logs sit for a few months, we buck ’em up smaller and split ’em and stack ’em but phase two is done in the Spring.  The weather is warmer.  There’s dragging and carrying and clunky old machinery involved like winches and such but, basically, it is no big deal.

After sitting on our respective butts for the last few weeks as our gimpy knees and the weather dictated our activities, we were somewhat less than nimble getting into the chore this year.    And that means less than enthusiastic, too. OK, I admit it, we were a smidge reluctant.  I suspect that this recent limitation is a portent of things to come and so we are starting to talk again of WOOFers.  If not this year, probably next.  If not then, then soon.  No doubt at all…we’ll be needing a bit of help from now on….or within the next few years, anyway.  My goal: no help (except Sal) until I am 75 (even then, I hope to limit it to just firewood wood-getting).

Will we then need a lot of help?  I don’t think so.  We have a system.  We have tools.  We even have the necessary skills and ‘ways’ of doing things, too. It will not be a problem.  But it will all become more of a challenge as the years go by. In some areas, anyway. That’s the way aging works.

OTG Christmas bows

In the meantime, it is still fun to get out and start the chore, ‘get ‘er done’ and then sit back and admire your work over a glass of wine at the end of the day.  I confess that I always have an end of the day, Sal sometimes misses it.  She’s busier than me.  My last chore, as a rule, is pouring the wine.  Sometimes I cook.  Often I do the dishes.  But, mentally and spiritually, I am done by dinner.  Sal’s second shift often kicks in after dinner.  She is always up to something.  A woman’s work, eh?

Mind you, it’s mostly just quilting but quilting has to get done, it seems.  Sal’s day?  Log wrangling-at-sea, setting chokes, hauling logs (wine and dinner) and then quilting up a storm.

Today is a bit different.  Today is Book Club.  Our local off-the-grid book club.  No log hauling today.  We start that up again tomorrow.  Today the women come, the noise level goes off the charts, wine flows and the food spills over.  I am usually banished to somewhere miserable but today, we (book club) are discussing Sally and my last book…  CHOOSING Off the Grid.  I am the guest author.  If I am smart (that is not something we can count on), I will say a few polite words, compliment my wife and then shut the hell up.  They will (knowing them) direct a question or two to me (to be polite).  I’ll answer the first two and then I’ll defer other questions to Sal.  Everyone will be happy with that.  They like Sal more than me (who doesn’t?).  And I’ll beat a well-received retreat.

The reality is that CHOOSING is NOT a great book but it’s OK.  It’s OK for most urban readers.  The problem is that the book is written for everyone EXCEPT these women.  These women already KNOW the inside and out of living off the grid.  Most of them could have written the book and made it much better.  They really will NOT have many real questions that they do not already have the answers for.  It will be a mercifully short ‘book-reading’ especially since I do not intend to read a single word.

If I am stupid, I will still be talking after fifteen minutes.  Pray for me. 

Side note: the common hostess/house-warming gift is literal out here.  K&D sent their annual yuletide kindling bundle.  I have an armload of split cedar sitting at my feet!  

Almost too perfect to burn

10 thoughts on “Stayin’ warm…one way or another…like getting roasted!

  1. Speaking to an audience you know can be hard. Speaking to an audience that knows your subject in even harder. I am sure it went well and you stuck enough humour in to keep things light. I wish the lake had more people who lived here on a permanent basis, then I wouldn’t have to go to town to participate in activities. We do have one neighbour couple that is coming up the lake almost every week for three to four days. We had a nice visit with them just before we headed south for our annual trip to the States to have Christmas with a friend from our former life. – Margy


    • There were 20 experienced OTG women staring at me…..some ready to ‘pounce’ on something sexist or stupid. They know my in-capabilities. My main task was in giving them very little to (bite) and chew on. There WAS a moment when I started a sentence improperly and was advised by a friend sitting close to me…”be careful how you proceed from there….”. Basically, I was safe. I was diplomacy, tact and cowardice personified. But the road had no shoulders. Stray a little and fall a long way down. I chickened out after 20 minutes and handed the talking stick to Sal, left the room and considered it a close call but no casualties. OTG: danger everywhere!


    • It may seem that way but, to me, it was a very primal thing. It was fear, and not informed in any way. It was just instinct, plain and simple.


    • Cold. Windy. Clear views but high clouds. Doesn’t FEEL like snow… temp is 5C. When it’s 5C at this time in the evening, it will only fall 4 degrees to +1C overnight. Winds are from the NW. Moisture comes from the SE so I do not think we are in for snow tonight. Maybe tomorrow night. I have to do a long boat ride on Thursday. Don’t like that…..


      • Took boat down coast to the storage yard. Bitterly cold ride but all went well. Flat seas. Hints and wisps of snow like material but no flakes, no impaired vision. Just cold and clear. But, getting the boat onto the trailer necessitated a bold stride and, of course, my boots were filled. Yes, I always bring spare socks.


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