What a delight to step outside in the morning to be greeted by cool, crisp almost-Autumn temperatures! For some that means “sweater weather,” but I thrill in anticipation of a fire in the hearth. Sure, I’ll get tired of tending it by January (if not sooner), because we actually use our fireplace to heat the house — it has a stove insert and I have to keep it going every day. Still, I always enjoy that first night with flames roaring in the fireplace. Oops! That means that it’s time right now to prepare for those fires, so I don’t get surprised without firewood at the first cold snap.
I need the wood stacked in the rack by the back door, because I’m too lazy to walk across the yard. We’ve got a lot of it, but much of it has to be cut into smaller logs so it will fit in the fireplace (can you say, “chainsaw?”). And, we have to clean the porch so we can set up the rack. Then, we have to drag those logs across the yard to stack them. What a lot of work to do! I’m glad I have the Mister to help. Rarely do we have to buy firewood, because we “gather” it when our neighbors cut trees and leave the limbs on the curb. It takes a lot to get through the winter, but I’m just glad we don’t need as much firewood as this:
Click it to enlarge it, if you would like. This was taken in the 1920s at some unknown location here in Denton County. You can find other photos of early Texas life on the Portal to Texas History. Back then people didn’t have insulation in their houses, and for this man all of his heating needs must have been met with a fire in the hearth (I think I see at least three chimneys). Perhaps he even used a wood-burning stove in the kitchen … or his wife did.
Can you imagine having to cut this much wood to make it through the winter? People did, you know. They also had to grow their own food and preserve it. They walked or hitched up the wagon to get where they were going. They had animals to feed. They were always working hard just to survive. Perhaps if we still had to do any of those things, the mayor of New York wouldn’t have been inspired to ban large sizes of sugary drinks? We would not be an obese nation if we had to get off of our rears and work off the calories!
We have an easy life. As a people, we don’t stop to realize that often enough. I’m trying hard to think about my good fortune now and then and be thankful. A year ago on this blog, you would have found me each Friday posting what I called “Only The Good.” I took one day out of the week to just appreciate the world around me instead of looking for the negative, as I so often seem to do. Just one day out of the week I tried not to whine.
Perhaps it’s time for me to do that again, as I go to ready my firewood for the winter! The hard work is a small price to pay for the warmth I will get from it (and I might burn off the calories of a Big Gulp!). I’ll just envision the crackling flames that will warm me on the cold winter nights.
Go have a day filled with only the good!