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.
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!