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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

the wood securement of 2013

Every fall we are like, "Hey, it's probably time to get wood."  We decide on a good September weekend to have a wood stacking party and we call our wood guy and within 2 weeks Mt. Wood is erected in our driveway. 
Then this year our wood guy disappeared off the face of the earth. Perhaps he moved.  Perhaps he joined the witness protection program.  Regardless, he would not be making our firewood pursuits easy this year.
I started calling.  And calling.  And calling. I asked friends about wood. I asked Facebook.  I consulted Craig and his list. I had a friend ask the birds on Twitter.  I got some names.  No one had wood- at least not seasoned wood.  I came very close to buying wood that seemed way too cheap from a guy who was actually selling it in 16 foot lengths.  (I figured it out at the very end of the conversation when he said, "You realize this is in 16 foot lengths, right?"  Ummmm....) I also almost bought wood  three cord of all sort wood.  Thankfully Sandi and her mom went to look at it. 
In case you're wondering I really don't revel being in charge of the wood. 
Wood became one more thing in a long line of things that wanted to be worried at a time when I am working hard not to worry and stress about every last thing in life.  The date of our wood stacking party came and went with no wood and so, consequently, no party.
Then, finally, after 3 weeks of searching, I got the name of a wood guy from a friend of a friend.  He had seasoned wood!  Now, there are some great things about doing local business with do-it-yourselfers from Maine and there are some drawbacks.  It is not always a good thing to buy wood from a guy you don't know (like the one who was going to sell us all soft wood) especially since I'd heard stories about guys who will sell green wood as seasoned wood just because people don't know the difference.  
So, our backs up against the wall, we took a gamble on a guy that sounded nice on the phone.  Sometimes that is what it comes down to.  He runs a pretty low tech operation and brought us half of our wood by trailer load on Saturday while I was gone.  He and his son unloaded it by hand. (Our old, missing wood guy had a big truck that dumped it.)  He said he would be back with the other half.  Having been around the block a few too many times with this "I will return shortly" shtick, Sandi knew not to pay him for the other half until it was in what Mainer's refer to as the "dooryard."
He said he would be back with the second load.  Little did we know that meant at 8 pm, after dark, after the kid's were in bed and after the porch light was off.  The knock on the door in the pitch black night led me to review the safety protocol for women that I had read on Facebook- such as never open your door for a strange man after dark.  I asked through the glass who he was and he shouted, "I'm here with your firewood!" and I turned to Sandi and said, "Is this the same guy as earlier?"  I began to feel like WE were the ones in witness protection. 
Couch sitting was not our destination after all.  We gloved up and helped unload the trailer by the low wattage outdoor light.  Three cord of wood had been delivered like a baby by stork in the night.  We were happy.
 Really happy. we had to move it. 

The wood came at the perfect time (which would have only been more perfect if had been the Friday before our wood stacking party). It was a beautiful long weekend and we had few plans.  We started moving wood.  With the help of our mostly able-bodied children and Mumford and Sons blaring from the speakers, we got right to work.

Perhaps my favorite part of the wood stacking weekend was the morning after our 3 cord had taken up residence on the patio and our octogenarian neighbor came over with his coffee to visit.  He said he had gotten quite a kick out of watching the wood guy's son try to back their trailer into our driveway the previous afternoon.  David, our neighbor, said, "I think it took him about 20 tries. I wanted to come over and tell him, 'You know, you should have one of the girls do that for you.'" 
I know I don't mind that the neighbors refer to us as "the girls" and I'm pretty sure I don't mind that we have a reputation for patio-laying, landscape projecting, wood moving, trailer-backing-upping girls at that.  I would have loved to see the look on the guy's face had David suggested that one of us take the wheel.
The wood was split, how shall I say...not all that well.  About half of it was not split but in fat, round logs.  We can burn a few of those overnight but we had far too many.  Sandi got to splitting.  I confess, there is something about a girl swinging and ax that I kind of dig.
We shocked ourselves by how quickly we moved the wood. We began to wonder if we actually ended up with less wood since it was so much larger in diameter.  Oh, well. Live and learn: we must be more specific with our wood guy.  In the meantime the basement is full of wood and, because of last year's surplus, we will end stacking the remainder outside.  That means, the floors have been mopped and 80% of the work is done.  I was really proud of us!  We appreciate the help we have had for the last many years but there was something nice about giving our friends a break and taking care of it ourselves. 
I do have one question though.  Is needing Ibuprofen for the intense soreness in my forearms a sign of age?

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