Two More Cords Of Wood


The wood shed is full. I’ll stack the rest of the wood on pallets just outside, then put a tarp over the top of it.

I pulled into the parking lot at the Cambridge Valley Vet, just up the road from the farm.  It rained all day and I knew the mosquitos would be overwhelming in the woods, so Fate and I were going to walk on McMillan Road instead.

We got out of the car and Fate made a beeline for Nicole, who was walking towards us from the Vets office.

Fate knows Nicole well.  She’s our Vet Tech, watches our animals when we go away and helps stack our  firewood.  “We’re just taking a walk,” I yelled to her across the parking lot, then told Fate not to jump.

Fate was too excited not to jump, but Nicole’s used to Fate.   “I wanted to show you this picture” she said, “I came across it the other day.”

Nicole handed me a photo, the color saturated, everything in it colored an orangey-red.  There was a barn, an open field, and a tiny man standing next to what looked like miles of stacked wood.

“I grew up stacking wood” Nicole said.  Her father cut and sold firewood for a living.  “I don’t  think twice about stacking a cord of wood.”

Nicole is a creative wood stacker.  I learned things I never knew about stacking wood from watching her.

We get two cords of wood delivered at a time, and by the time you get a quarter of the way though, the pile of wood is far enough away from the wood shed, to make  carrying two pieces of wood at a time a drudgery.

So when I saw Nicole and her son Keen,  tossing the wood into the shed,  I was intrigued.  And when I tried it myself I saw how it worked for me in two ways.

First it was much easier and quicker to throw the wood than walk back and forth.  But the other thing it does is break down the process so you’re constantly getting a sense of satisfaction.

There’s immediate gratification in making smaller piles of wood, and then stacking them, because you can actually see your progress.  And because I can be obsessive, that always make me one to throw, then stack, just one more pile. 

The other thing Nicole taught me was that the wood doesn’t always have to go in the same direction.    I do this with the ends that hold the stack, but Nicole does it throughout the stacks.  I don’t know if she has a reason for doing it that way, but it seems to work.

So when there’s a small space where the wood won’t fit length-wise, I now fill it in, in which ever direction the wood fits.

This may seem like common sense, and it really is, it’s just that I never thought of it before I saw Nicole do it.

“I didn’t get to help stack any of your latest batch of wood, but I can get there next week” Nicole said to me before Fate and I left on our walk.

“Oh, I said “I’ll have it done before then.”

And we smiled at each other knowingly,  Nicole likes stacking wood as much as I do.

2 thoughts on “Two More Cords Of Wood

  1. Maria, stacking it two ways allows air to circulate and keep the wood dryer through wet times. Especially when stacking outdoors next to buildings. I love the photo of the pile of wood. I grinned with memory of past times. Thank you for that. Veronica

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