Sunday, October 15, 2017

Light my fire

October 15, 2017

Living in the woods has a different set of activities than those of a city dweller. Added to the usual dusting, vacuuming, cooking, laundry, grocery shopping routines is yard work. Folks who live in apartments have landlords to mow the grass. Folks who live in the country are Lords of the Land. 

Last Saturday, we rented equipment and the brother-in-law cut down a massive oak tree that had died. The assembled crew did a wonderful job but tree removal isn't a neat and tidy job. Everything not suitable to cut for firewood gets thrown onto a pile and burned. It's a bit messy with pre-burning piles cluttering the yard.

Burning is more work than you'd imagine. Around here, folks wait for it to have just rained or even be raining to burn. It's also important there be no wind with the rain. No one wants to be known as the person who burned down the state park (and their own house!). You want it to be wet and still for a safe burn.

A drizzly, foggy morning is burning weather if you can get a fire started. I'm rather good at it so it didn't take long to get a nice fire going. After that, it gets a bit tough on the back and shoulders as sticks, branches, and even some sizable logs get added to the fire. With this particular tree, it was several hours of work to get the first pile burned. With my partner's limited mobility, the heavy work falls to me. 

Hard work aside, it's not a bad way to spend a Saturday. My honey abdicated his spot on the John Deere and chose the lawn tractor as his steed. I backed JD out of his stable. We parked side-by-side and sipped coffee while the fire burned. You'd think as we enter our twenty-fourth year we'd not have much left to say, but we have good conversations watching a fire. 

By dusk, the fire had burned down to coals. Deuce and I went out and sprayed water on them but even the water doesn't stop the process. Deep in the middle, the coals continue to smolder. This morning there is nothing left but warm ash. 

We've more to burn but today is not the day. A bit of a breeze is moving this morning so we'll find other pursuits for the day. I'll dress Deuce in his orange vest and go for a walk while Himself settles in to watch the Talladega NASCAR race. I want to see the end of the race, but I don't need to watch the entire thing. 

And maybe, just maybe, I'll get chapter ten written. 

KC Kendricks

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