One of the things that I didn’t expect about moving to Seattle was that we’d routinely have big fires in the middle of our family room.
That came out kinda weird.
You see we have a big wood-burning stove in there, which is actually quite useful in heating up the house, and extremely useful for, well, burning stuff. A few weeks ago I got a call from a friend in our church offering to bring over a bunch of wood, which we need for the aforementioned stove. Well, what he brought over was not exactly what I had pictured in my naive Kansas head. He brought over HUGE rounds from the tree that would only fit in a fireplace the size of Vermont. So I had the realization that there would be some wood chopping to do – strangely, I was good with that. He showed me the tools to go buy, and several days later I was at a hardware store buying my tough-guy tools. While I was looking at the axes and wedges this older-guy employee came over and asked if he could help. I’m certain he could sense that I had no idea which of the many options I should buy. He proceeded to give me a great tutorial and to even do a demonstration right there in the middle of the aisle with an invisible piece of wood (I’ve discovered that the real stuff is harder to split). He must not have been satisfied that he’d done his job because he followed me all the way to check-out and kept re-explaining the intricacies of making one big piece of wood into many smaller pieces.
Well, after some fits and starts (another odd phrase) I’ve become a skilled splitter of wood (sorta). Not sure I’ve ever felt tougher than when I whack that wedge into the center of the wood and watch it break apart. The family has even gotten involved and we have a pseudo-assembly-line process to get the stuff split and stacked. My oldest holds the wedge for me, the next two kids are the log transporters (take it to where we stack it all), my wife supervises the whole thing and my 3 year old just walks around being amazed by wood sap and trying on different pairs of huge gloves. It’s a very efficient operation . . . every once in a while. My dainty little 5-year-old Sydney is amazing – she happily stacks wood on a snow sled and slides it to where it needs to go, and does it with a smile, AND moves way more than her older brothers combined. My own mini-lumberjacks and lumberjills (awesome new word).
So I’m thinking about buying matching flannel shirts for everyone – good idea?
Update (from a few hours after I posted) – Traci does a vast majority of the hauling/stacking. I’m certain that Sydney get the toughness from her mommy. (and the dance moves from me…?)