Monday, December 8, 2008

Firewood Bailout

Banks got a bailout. Wall Street firms got a bailout. Now the automobile industry wants a bailout.

I think it’s about time I got one.

But I don’t want money. I want firewood.

In years past, we’ve purchased our firewood from a log home manufacturer in Rigby for $15 a cord. We buy the oddball scraps that they’d otherwise pile up in their yard and burn. For years, the system worked well. We hauled about $50 worth of that wood a year home, and what we hauled was usually more than enough to get us through the winter.

Then last winter came. Long. Long. Long. First snows were in early October, and even by June the weather was still cold enough we couldn’t plant the garden. We used every bit of wood we had.

Then the economic downturn came. The log home place in Rigby slowed down on the number of log homes they were building – which meant the scrap wood we usually bought by the trailer load was much harder to come by. We got desperate, even hauling home tree branches they’d tossed onto their pile, and the debris from what looked like an office remodel. Then in August they put up a sign in front of their store: No more firewood until spring. Our wood pile wasn’t even half as big as it was last year. Help.

We did get some help. Because I was willing to manhandle about a cord and a half of firewood out of a basement in Driggs, the wood was ours. But it still makes for a rather pitiable pile next to the tool shed. For next winter, we may push ahead plans to remodel the deck on the back of the house, partly because it’s falling apart and partly because we could use its wood to feed next year’s fires.

Now, we’re not dependent on the wood stove for heat. We do have a gas furnace. But the wood is such an inexpensive fuel (and would be burned anyway by the log home folks) so it might as well get burned where the heat can do me some good.

So I’ll ask the Feds for a firewood bailout. They do own the national forests, after all.

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