I figured I would find the most private place on earth to confess my most private confession. What better place to tell no one but myself something so embarrassing? I guess here is as good as any.
I’m addicted to firewood. I can’t stop thinking about it. I love it and I covet it.
When Laura and I drive into Madison for cat food or groceries or building supplies, we exchange simple pieces of banter between the two of us. She tells me about something or other and I tell her the same. I don’t know how I do it – stay focused, I mean – because all throughout our conversations and all throughout the drive, I’m thinking of firewood. And I don’t know why.
While driving down the road, I look at the piles that are growing on people’s pieces of property. I scout out trees that I’d like to get my hands on to cut down, cut up and split. I think about which direction would be the best for them to fall. Where would I put my notch? Wires in the way? Would anyone notice? How much wood would it be? What kind is it? How long would it take to season? What’s wrong with me? All we were supposed to do was to buy some cat food and during that process, I end up wanting to cut down every tree on the planet. Just to fill up my garage so I have enough wood to last me for the rest of my life.
It’s not going to get any better either, because Maine’s full of trees. Look at a map, look at pictures – I’m telling you, we’ve got a whole lot of trees here and my insatiable appetite will be just that – insatiable. A man on a firewood mission will never be satisfied.
I was watching – get ready for this – videos on splitting firewood last night. Yes, I watch a multitude of videos having to do with cutting down trees and splitting up wood. I watch videos about people stacking their firewood. I even watched one in fast-motion. The person stacked a whole cord of wood in just under a minute. The technology behind the internet will never cease to amaze me.
Anyway, one of the comments below the video said – after a different comment asked why the person needed so much firewood – “People who ask why you need so much firewood just don’t get it.” That was perfect. Because it isn’t so much that you need it, it’s more about the fact that you want it. And I’m ashamed to say that I look at my firewood every single day. I lift it up and I feel the weight to see if it’s any different than it was the day before. And all the while, I wonder – sometimes out loud – if I’ve got a mental disorder.
And I’ve come to the conclusion that I do, because no sane man wanders around every single day to each and every pile of wood he’s got, to smell it. But I’ll tell you one thing – we’re going to be warm this Winter. So all this crazy talk does have a purpose, I suppose. I think of us this January 15, not shivering, but lounging around, putting another log on the fire, because that’s the way it’s supposed to be. God, I can’t wait for Winter.