Monday, June 27, 2011

Two Seasons

New England has two seasons: winter and getting ready for winter. Whenever anyone makes a joke about New England and its seasons, winter is always one of them.

Today I spent hours stacking wood in the shed. I also tested the Ossipee River, testing a pair of waders at the same time. It's handy to get this gig testing hip boots just in time for presidential primary campaigning.

This year we got four cords of wood instead of the usual three. Three fills our shed. The fourth will have to go up in the back yard. This will make it more convenient to bring to the living room to feed the new wood stove that will heat that space since we had the gas bomb removed. The old gas unit had just gotten too scary. A wood fire in a good stove gives more consistent heat from a fuel that literally grows on trees. During the lean times I would burn busted up pallets, scrap lumber, old furniture (don't worry, not the antiques) and logging slash gleaned from old sites nearby.

When you're stacking wood you're not doing anything else. It's a long, steady grind. You can't look too often at the pile or you'll just quit and find something else to do. You have to get into a groove with a good train of thought or some sort of meditation. If I get a really good idea I might stop to jot it down or keep refining it until I finish the day's labor and turn to the evening's contemplation.

Right now I'm sitting in the dark so I can see the fireflies outside. Unfortunately, the door screen is pretty well shredded by the cats. Less enjoyable bugs than the fireflies are making their way in to investigate the light of my computer screen and drink my blood. Maybe I can drive them away with some bad fiddlin' in the dark. Or perhaps they'll take that annoying whine to be a mating call. We'll see.