Standard time has resumed, we had some snow yesterday, and it is time to tell you about my guy-like obsession with firewood over the last three months.

Yesterday Susan and I finished putting up seven cords of wood.  Four cords of that were dumped in a pile by the side of our house by a local supplier: firewood for this winter.  All that was required was to stack that in our woodshed – an unexceptional yearly ritual.

Three cords was the result of three trees we had taken down on August 1.

future firewood

The photo above shows the pile of logs before two more trees were added.  When I first looked at the pile (and my massive biceps) I imagined that I’d get through it in two or three hours. Well, it took about ten – three extended outings with a chainsaw to buck them into woodstove-length rounds – and I was considerably helped by a friend who chipped in with the loan of his saw and three hours of his own labor.

big pile to cut up

In one of my sessions I inadvertently accompanied a concert of shape note singing that was going on next door at the Old Meetinghouse. I was terribly embarrassed, but no one said anything. (And it’s true that shape note singing is probably less disturbed by a neighboring chainsaw than any other kind of music-making!)

Next up was splitting, and I can tell you that that violent activity has been a healthy outlet for my aggression for three solid months.  Another friend loaned me the use of his splitter – and three hours of his time – to split the logs that I couldn’t do by myself with an ax.

The final labor – stacking – was done primarily by Susan, who has Amazonian strength and perseverance.

Last year we ran out of wood in March.  This year, with seven cords under cover – four already dry, and three drying – we’re ready for whatever winter can throw at us.

The bottom line is an interesting calculation.  One cord of green wood, cut, split and delivered, runs around $230 in these parts, so the three cords that we’ve put up would have cost us around $690. I figure I’ve worked 30 to 40 hours on that wood since August 1, making my pay something between $17.25 and $23 per hour. Not quite in the league of a hedge fund manager, but not bad for a musician. (And you should see those muscles ripple!)

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