Friday, October 10, 2008


Today, we got wood. Lots of wood. A truck and a trailer full of wood. Wood wood wood. That was our day. We have a fireplace in our basement. The basement is cold, despite the presence of a natural gas-fired furnace in the house. The first year we lived in this house, we had no firewood. We were cold. On Christmas Eve Day the first year we lived here, I got fed up and found some wood I could burn. We liked the heat. We even chopped up and burned an old wooden bookshelf I had out in the shed, doing who knows what with it.

Since then, we've been consistent wood-burners. We get most of our wood from a place not far from home where they build custom log cabins. Basically, we pay them $15 a cord to root through their trash and find the wood we need to keep us warm during the winter. Then came this year. The economic downturn, combined with the housing collapse, dropped the bottom out of the custom log home market. Whereas we were used to bountiful harvests at their scrap pile, this year we spent our time crossing our fingers that they'd actually have wood in the pile, and that someone else didn't beat us to it. We got about half the wood I'd hoped we'd get, which was disappointing.

Then today. A family member is building a house, and we mentioned that we'd like to come scavenge through the garbage piles for wood, like the folks in Paris during World War II. They said that would be OK, and then mentioned that they had a huge pile of firewood in the basement of the home they're living in -- borrowed from his side of the family. They'd been asked to move the wood, as it was a fire hazard. So we said we'd take it -- because they had no way of getting it away from the house; they didn't want to haul it off by putting a log or two in their car. So we went all the way to Driggs today to retrieve the wood. We had to start off by fixing two flat tires, one on the wood trailer, the other on the van, and then getting an oil change for the truck, which was to haul the trailer. The trip there was pleasant -- we got to see the last of the potato harvest, trucks hauling huge loads of spuds and the occasional spud spill.

Erica and Nephi treated us to lunch, then we went to work. And work. And work. There was a lot of wood, in a far-back corner of the basement, where I had to duck udner a furnce duct. The wood was big and heavy. I hauled wood pretty much on my own for about an hour while Nephi was at work (I get Fridays off, which is nice) and Michelle, Erica and the kids went to the thrift store to find Halloween costume items. I hauled wood. And hauled. And hauled. Then we drove home, cursed the weight of the wood which made the trip slower, but then blessed the wood because, once we got it home and once I spend an hour or two unloading it tomorrow, it'll keep us warm.

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