Monday, November 18, 2013

Winter Wood

Fred and Damien are always on the lookout for wood and spend a tremendous amount of time chopping, splitting and stacking their wood in order to save money on winter heating.  In fact, they have this Saturday set aside for taking down some cherry trees they found.  Last night my brother Jim posted this story as a comment, but I wanted to put it up front so more can read it.  Jim is a thoughtful guy, a great writer, and a good family man.  But he is also a real man's man and a tough, hard worker.  Love you and miss you, Brother!

Today has been special, Deborah. We built our first fire of the season. I have never had so much firewood going into winter! As I waded into our substantial firewood pile at the bottom of the yard this morning I remember every "workin party" that we had in the last year. I can tell you, if you have time to listen, where every batch came from, separated by the species. As I throw the wild cherry chunks into the trailer I can still feel the sharp stings of the yellow jackets that lit up my ankle after I stepped on their nest on the first cut of the of the downed tree. They did not appreciate the change in lifestyle that I had initiated by slicing through their nest. The locust wood reminds me of a very special day that I enjoyed in the woods with Rory, Landon and Sara. Rory is my scout as he drives his daily route through five counties of Western North Carolina delivering propane, always vigilant and alert for free firewood to keep his Dad warm through these long, cold, mountain winters. He had called me the day before to tell me that he had spotted a huge yellow locust tree that had been blown down by a recent windstorm. Rory doesn't burn wood but he is always right there with me ready to go to work to help me stock my firewood pile. The tree was in the creek, covered by poison ivy, and twenty feet down a steep bank. I'll never forget Landon's face as I sawed into the trunk and found a large mama copperhead and three baby snakes curled up in a rotten pocket on the tree.
I load some sycamore sticks and they remind me of a rainy day in June, when a friend had called on Friday afternoon to tell me that he had a tree down. It had to be gone before sundown. I looked at Angela, she looked at me. We were both tired after working long hours all week. She said, "let's gear up. We need to strike while the iron is hot". I have taught her well!
So, on this day, as the sun drops below the cold November horizon, the firewood is up to the house, the house is warm and smells wonderful! I lift the lid off the pot on the stove. I recognize immediately that Angela has cooked my favorite soup of all time.
She giggles behind me. She is pleased with my pleasure as I taste the soup!
Thank you Deb for your Butternut Squash Soup recipe! Even more important, thank you for showing me how important it is to appreciate and enjoy our families and all the small things that come our way every day and can bring us so much joy if we are receptive.

1 comment:

Julia Marie said...

Awww... I love this! It's no wonder why I enjoy writing: it runs in the family! :)