now i like piles of wood...


piles of wood did not always conjure up thoughts of
warm fires and hot cocoa on a winter's night.
piles of wood meant work.

it seemed as if every night for an entire winter
years and years ago we were making our
own pile of the garage...

those dark winter evenings grabbed us as we
dragged our feet outside to meet my dad who stopped by on his way home from work, well, who knows where, to fill the back of his wood-paneled jeep with scraps of 2x4's.
it was our job to unload it,
and my dad was a man of assembly lines.

we'd line up at the back of the car,
our elbows squeezing the sides of our ribcage,
forearms straight forward at a ninety-degree-angle,
palms up...creating a shelf for wood to be piled.

our smoking cold breath burned our lungs,
and the wood made its impression on our arms:
red stripes on the skin,
muscles and joints turning to rubber.

carrying the wood to the garage was a blind act...
we couldn't see where we were stepping,
the crooked sidewalk tripping us here and there,
hoping we didn't drop our load.

we built a huge wall of wood in that garage.
twenty years later,
it's still there.
not a dent in our supply.
strange indeed.

but i guess you could say
we're prepared.

for the first time this fall,
i like the idea of a small wood pile.
just enough to keep you warm through
a couple cold months...maybe three.

{photos by me. october 2009}


Gigi Thibodeau said...

What a fantastic post. It brought me back to carrying the wood in every fall and winter when I was growing up. I hated doing it, but I loved the fires that resulted from the work. I was fascinated to read that the pile you stacked is still there.

Yes, a small woodpile is a lovely thing, indeed.

xoxo Gigi

amy said...

I love this post. Even if the kids don't like it at the time, there is something romantic about an assembly line of cold kids making a woodpile.

I am so excited that you are coming to Pumpkinfest! I tested out a new pumpkin bread recipe today ;)

Caroline said...

Girl, you just brought back one of my LEAST favorite childhood memories : ) We had a wood stove that heated our entire 2200 square feet house. It was the chore of the three kids (and for pretty much all of my teens, myself since my brother and sister were out of the house by then) to stack all that wood and carry it into the basement twice daily, morning and night. In upstate NY. In the frigid ridiculous winter.

And guess what my parents got as soon as I left for college? An oil heater. I'm still bitter about that, if you can't tell.

Now I have a lovely fireplace that turns on with the flip of a switch!

Melly Mel said...

yes, this post was amazing. made me want to sleep with the trees. thanks for posting this. warmed my soul.