Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I say that the woodpile
cuts down street noise,
though that is not quite the truth.

When I was a kid, my grandfather
was in charge of the woodpile
for our cold Oregon nights.

He'd pick up logs on the beach
and (always with a hernia) load
them into his jeep
to cut them up with a 3 foot circular blade
attached to the power take-off
on the back of the jeep.

Then he'd split the wood with
a combination of an axe, a mallet,
and some hefty wedges.

I'd try to split the wood myself from time to time,
but never could do much damage to those logs.

For him, it was one way to
take care of those he loved.

I never asked him where he
learned to do the log splitting.
I wonder if that is something he did
growing up in Russia.

My log pile is a tribute to Milton,
my grandpa. The difference is
that we have a gas fireplace
with a remote control. And in
cold weather, lots of neighbors
visit us in their pickups
looking for wood.

"No, the wood is not for a sale,"
we tell them.


Anonymous said...

Great walk down memory lane. I can just picture Grandpa with his wood.....and yes, what a way to show us he loved us. I am just realizing what a physical guy he was. I think Satchel takes after him.....Gail

Anonymous said...

My nephew and brother exist on cut wood and
tight stoves in Cook Station, Mo.

I remember my grandfather saying cut down any tree you want. We used a cross cut saw, me at 16 my brother at 20 years.

We cut down a walnut tree. It was a big not to do thing.
At least my older brother took most of the flack.

Anonymous said...

I labor in the summertime, splitting the wood in an awkward manner that I’ve mastered on my own.
I grew up setting the thermostat. The actual need for an indoor fire is not a reality I have ever really known.

But I have grown pig-headed and refuse to pay to remove the bits of discarded tree body from my suburban grass plot.
So I pick up my hatchet and I willingly relive the horrid labor my ancestors so willingly forgot.

My body aches and my haphazard pile of wood may not stand if there is a good storm
I am sick and tired of working. This is the last of the yard work I will perform.

In the winter I lock myself behind my walls to shield my body from the cold air.
Night after night, I stare into this fire and fall into my habitual prayer.

Why is it in the moment I can never see that my efforts will lead me to where I need to be?
Whining about down limbs and sore arms, I did not see that I would sit in front of a fire with a cup of tea.

Just giving your site some love. :) Kate

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