Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.
Sometimes we get very busy and wonder what happened to the day, week, month. That happens to us when it is time to gather our firewood for next winter. Living at 9,750’ elevation winter can come very early and we burn a LOT of firewood. We usually burn firewood from October until early May. That requires plenty of firewood and we have found that it is best to get it done over one continuous time span as opposed to spreading it out over the entire summer and fall seasons. So we grind it out for a couple of weeks when we cut, split, and stack firewood non stop. As you can see in the photo we are very close to being done. Our wood shed is filled to capacity (6 cords) and we have 4-5 cords stored outside the shed.
This is a major job and doesn’t become any easier as we get older. Once the snow starts to fall getting to or even finding firewood is difficult. We keep about 5 cords uncut stored behind the wood shed where we know we can find it should the need arise. If it is covered with 4-5 feet of snow we at least know where to dig. One of the disadvantages of grinding it out non-stop until we are done is how fast time passes.
When we are almost done - like now - we can’t account for much with the notable exception of gathering firewood. We eat, gather firewood and go to bed exhausted. Time has flown by as we have undertaken perhaps the most important chore we face each year and other things have been put off. Thanks to our new log splitter we finished in record time this year. What a time and back saver that piece of equipment turned out to be. We are rarely on social media and communication with family and friends comes to a halt while we are gathering firewood. Now we are about done we will have to reconnect.
My computer has a feature that reorganizes itself and removes the clutter. I wish our lives were as easy to reorganize. When we are young we have far different plans and ambitions than when we get older. As we slowly age a lot of things enter our lives. Younger couples seem to be endlessly busy and have the energy to do all that they do. Each new item we introduce into our lives either adds to the clutter or replaces something else that once had importance to us. That remarkable feature on my computer is called Disc Defragmenter. Once applied my computer is faster and the clutter is gone. And the nice part it is is scheduled to do that all by itself. Since we don’t have that feature in our personal lives instead take an adult beverage to our swing situated at the opposite end of our lot where we take quiet time to reflect and reorganize ourselves.
Just like the Disc Defragmenter which first analyzes, relocates fragments, defragment's them and then consolidates them by putting them in order so that my computer can work more efficiently, we use our quiet time in the swing to rearrange priorities in our lives. I have often thought that it would be wonderful if we humans came with that feature where you click the little box, the internal components are then examined, analyzed, reorganized, and placed in order. Maybe then we would have the time it requires to get all our ambitions and desires done in a more fast and expedient manner.
Since we were not programmed with that aspect in our hard drives I guess we will have to hike down to the swing and sip a cool one and do it the old fashioned way. Actually now that I think of it, sitting on the swing relaxing and doing some concentrated thinking with the stream gurgling in the background and the birds singing, and bees buzzing past is a good end to wood gathering season. I’m thinking this may require more than just one brew and several days to accomplish.
For more on Bruce and Carol McElmurray and mountain living go to:http://www.brucecarolcabin.blogspot.com