It's just the steel... the wood... the motion.
Anyway it's instinct, and responding to deep instincts always rocks. Long about September or October, the warm smell of August turns into the crackle of dry leaves, and there's a lovely crispness in the air, not of cool but of going to get cold soon. It's TIME to make a gigantic pile of wood near the house so we can stay warm all winter.
Anyway it's such fun to march down to the bus stop with a maul over my shoulder.
It's like, Crazy person; should we hide?
The privilege of hopping on the bus to the confusion of everyone was more than reward enough for a trip to my friend's house to split some wood for her, but she also gave me lunch and a few tools that she had extra. That's as close as I've come yet to getting paid for doing what I love :-)
That means each round is a different, interesting challenge!!
She gave me a file so I can finally put a new edge on the old maul. Notice the top corner, still a little blurry? Aeons ago I hit a rock and broke the corner clean off. It's been filed so many times since then that it's almost blended in.
But when people tell me "you don't need a chopping block with a maul," um, no.
Let's have some nostalgia for the rounds that last logger left for me. The one before him had dropped export timber then broke it, making it worth nothing but to be sawn into rounds for firewood. The logger left it all for me because I'd said I liked splitting, instead of taking away half to resell like he usually does.
Most beautiful, big smooth rounds ever... that I had to leave behind. Sigh.
"I wish he'd taken away the lot."
Oh, but see? The blessing of Jehovah maketh rich, and he adds no sorrow with it! :-)
I WAS going to sit in my upstairs apartment and watch the weather come on, but look what God brought to the woods right behind me!
The cutters told me they were just going to leave the rounds, and someone from that side would gather them up.
Later I went over and split some of it just for fun, as a service to whomever it was who was going to take the wood home.
I don't split much at a time. I used to like to go out every day and split a little, and now fancy this, a woodpile that I can leave from my front door and walk to, just like old times!
Three months later nobody had taken any of the wood I split. The rain started and the wood was left out in it.
Long ago a workman told me a story of a job he'd been on, to which he went back the next week, and the homeowner showed him a beautiful brand new $40 (90's price) hammer. "Is this yours?" he wanted to know. Because he had asked everybody else, and nobody had claimed it. The guy telling me about this said he held that hammer in his hand for the longest time wondering what he could say that wouldn't be a lie. He finally came up with, "You know what? I think this does look like mine!"
After they let all that firewood that I'd split lie out in the wet until it grew black mildew on the ends, and got bugs underneath, it started to look like mine.
I've been carrying it home in this beautifully feminine canvas bag.
And a ton of kindling.
And what to do for a metal bucket??
Prettiest bucket ever :-)
I spent some time gently blowing and nursing the flames back, and getting philosophical.
That's like me, isn't it? Isn't that what I always do? And the sad truth is, I'm just like that woodpile out there, wet, mossy, with bugs, so far from ideal that it's a joke. With bad timing, too.
That pile's gonna burn.
It's gonna heat the house.