Winter is Coming

July 24, 2017

0702 logs.jpgJasper started cutting and splitting logs for us to use this winter.

The trees were ones that had fallen last summer at the westernmost edge of the property.  The owner of the neighboring tract of land clear cut the forest bordering ours.  Without the protection and buffer of those trees, the fierce winter winds felled a good swath of our trees, too.

I was mad about it to begin with.  The owner of the land is something of a lumber and land baron around here, doesn’t live on the property but bought it just for the timber, and of course he didn’t think for a second about what would happen to our trees when he cut his down.  But being mad about something you can do absolutely nothing about is no way to live.

Instead, we decided that when life knocks down your trees, it’s time to cut firewood.

0721 woodpile.jpgWinter.  It seems like such a very long way away, being in the middle of July as we are.  It’s hard to believe that the days could be cold and dark and that the nights could be long.  I’ve gotten used to sunshine and balmy weather (average of 70 degrees my friends!) and going to sleep at night while the robins are still singing and with only the thinnest of quilts.

But I know it won’t last, the Earth just keeps swinging around that sun, and so, forearms browning in the summer sun as I weed in the garden, I listen to buzz of the chainsaw and the metallic thunk of the ax in the lower field as Jasper chops firewood for the cold months ahead.  And when I go help to move it and stack it, I think about how happy I’ll feel to throw one of these logs in the fireplace and listen to it crackling away come January.

0721 cat

There’s something nice about preparing for winter in the heat of summer.  Something that’s deeply soul-satisfying about knowing that this hard work will have such tangible results.  It’s not the same as working in an office and earning a paycheck.  It’s not the same as throwing the switch on the thermostat and later paying the heating bill.

It’s harder, to be sure.  But it is hugely rewarding, in a way I never knew before, and on an almost primal level.  We worked hard, and this winter we’ll be warm.

And I feel rich beyond measure.


  • Roo

    July 24, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    One of my favourite things about my parents’ house in winter is the crackle and heat from the wood burner. Just think, come winter time you’ll have back / shoulder muscles to die for!

  • ruthsoaper

    July 24, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    My husband just took the chainsaw chains to be sharpened so he can cut some trees later this week. One of the things we try to do is plant young trees on our property to replace the dead ones that we cut down.
    A fire in the fireplace is probably my favorite part of winter (in Michigan).

    1. sproutandsprig

      July 25, 2017 at 2:27 am

      Mine too!

      And we’re going to plant some more trees, for sure! My father-in-law’s been planting trees every year since the 70s, so we have a tradition to uphold!

  • Hot Mess Homesteader

    July 25, 2017 at 12:03 am

    So true and i love this post!

  • Melissa McLaughlin

    July 25, 2017 at 11:08 am

    You describe the satisfaction perfectly. A gas fireplace really doesn’t come close to the sound/smell of fresh firewood!

  • akblueberry

    July 25, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    As much as I’m not ready for winter, this made me excited for it. I often feel my summer is spent getting ready for winter.

  • jennybakerbee

    July 25, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    It’s crazy how fast this summer has gone! I’m looking forward to your first post about chucking your firewood into your new wood stove! 🔥

  • Brenda

    July 28, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Your last line made me smile. My husband just finished cutting, splitting and stacking our wood for winter and as we both surveyed the stacks with satisfaction, I remarked that, “it makes me feel rich.”

  • Wood Stoves (And Woodsheds) – sprout & sprig

    January 11, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    […] achieve my target temperature (propane is expensive), but I sure can use all the free wood Jasper chopped this summer to stoke a blazing fire!And I love it.  I love it every day and every night when it […]

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