An Ingrained Late August Feeling

While the outside temperature here in North Carolina is regularly hitting 100F the calendar on the wall is telling me summer is winding down back home. The days will be in the 60’s, the nights, in the 50’s, humidity will disappear and the sky is a clear blue, the trees havent started to turn yet but you will find yourself saying that yearly line to the Tim Hortons drive thru window girl, “it sure is starting to feel like fall”. This time of the year is synonyms with one thing, and that’s ordering your wood for the winter. It makes me smile to drive by firewood for sale here in the south, little teepee shaped piles two feet high, or ads in the paper selling wood “by the trunk full. I think the most we ever ordered was 14 cord to feed the behemoth or a furnace in the basement of the yellow house by the Canadian Legion, a basement with a spring running right through the middle of it and walls made out of field stone four feet thick. It came in either tree or 8 foot lengths on a transport truck, and piled 20 feet in the air by the garage waiting to be junked up. Dad would come home and look it over, size it up by how big the logs were, how much birch was mixed in with the rock maple, if the butts were good and cracked and no leaves still hanging onto the stray branches. A weekend of sawing, a weekend with a borrowed wood splitter, and endless weekends thereafter travelling a well-worn wheelbarrow trail from the wood pile to the wood shoot. By the time the last load was dumped into the basement you would have to shake the snow and ice off the old tarp covering the woodpile to get to it, the 2×4”s keeping the wood off the wet ground were now frozen solid in the ice and snow and would stay there will spring thaw came and loosened winters grasp on them. Anyone who has had a wood stove will tell you there’s no heat like wood heat, dry and hot coming out of the ducts, and the slight smell of a forest. I’m thinking about putting a little wood stove in here, just for the coldest days to take the chill off in the morning, seems sissy compared to having to get up at 2am to put more wood on the fire to keep the pipes from freezing on those -30C nights but I never liked stacking that wood anyway. – How much wood is in a cord?The old yellow house in Norton