I’ve had “get firewood” on our family Trello board since we moved into our house in June. In July, when we had our chimney cleaned, I asked the sweep if he had any recommendations for where to get firewood around here. He tilted his head and said, “Most people don’t share their firewood sources. It’s not easy to get good seasoned wood around here.”
I tilted my head back at him. I was skeptical. We are surrounded by forests and pickup trucks.
In August, I wrote about getting excited for autumn. In September I started calling around. I called the one number our chimney sweep gave us. I called numbers from “Firewood for sale” signs we saw by the road side. I replied to “Seasoned firewood” ads on Craigslist.
We’re flooded and can’t get to our wood.
Come get it with your own truck.
Will deliver a minimum of two cords for $485.
We wanted half a cord. We don’t own a truck. We’re not spending $500 on firewood.
For eight weeks this went on. “We can deliver a 6-foot pickup bed full.” How much is that in cords? No call back.
As of October 31, we’d had frost on the ground more than once, and we still had no wood. I was completely baffled by this. In Minnesota we had our choice of firewood options. One phone call and we’d have a standard measure of seasoned wood delivered and stacked the following weekend.
On Halloween day, before we even bought our pumpkin to carve, I was on the phone again. I finally found someone who sold in a measurement I could identify, and who would deliver. He sold in loads twice the size of what we were prepared for, but given the trouble we had finding wood, that was fine with me.
Derek, who is my new best friend, pulled his truck alongside the rack my husband built and dumped it within feet for easy stacking: a pile as tall as me of beautiful, seasoned, hard wood. He eyed the rack. “That will hold about half of this,” he said.
He pulled away, and my daughter and I started stacking. We filled the rack in about 20 minutes. I turned around and the pile didn’t look any smaller.
I didn’t want to leave the wood piled there, where it would kill the grass, and we didn’t have a plan for where it would go, so I made a makeshift stand out of firewood and started stacking again.
There were a couple of times I thought my pyramid would tumble, like when you pull the keystone apple from a produce display and the whole thing collapses, apples rolling everywhere. I don’t think we’ll be sending our kids down to get firewood from that stack.
But it’s there. We have wood. Winter is coming, and we are ready for it.