Chopping Wood

January 20, 2010 § 2 Comments

Hobbes said that life in the state of nature is ” nasty, brutish and short.” I say that life without fun is nasty, brutish, and short. Contrary to what it might seem to an average city-dweller, country life is full of joys. And on the cheap, too. Consider this – our city dweller might be tempted to pay moneys for a gym membership, whereas country folk can head to their backyard, and, for no money whatsoever, get their workout and their daily doze of high from such a useful and productive activity as chopping wood. Both Henry David Thoreau and Aldo Leopold have glorified wood splitting in their writing. Thoreau has famously said that making your own wood “warms you twice,” and this is true even for 0-degree days.

If you don’t believe me, just see how happy this seemingly mundane chore makes this Wisconsin farmwife:

See, babe, I split it all myself!!!

Here is me, splitting wood for the first time:

Dang, I hit the snow!

Dang, I hit the snow again!

Did you see that?! I did it babe! I did it! The feeling comparable only to watching a deer drop to the ground after you've fired at it. The disbelief! The pride! It's a right of passage, to be sure.

Don’t tell me that winter in Wisconsin is cold – look, I’m sweating on a 0-degree day! My hair and most of my clothes were practically soaked by the end. (OK, I got it, I got it, this is not the picture you want to be imagining).What? Your idea of fun doesn’t include being soaked in sweat?

Yep, that pile over there and this pile over here - I split those myself!

Let’s do a close-up:

This pile over here.

That pile over there.

Now let us admire it again from farther away...

Now let me pose with it as though the maul was a gun and the pile was a downed deer...

The next day...

I must confess, I enhanced it just a tiny little bit with the pieces I wasn’t able to split and deemed to be small enough to fit in the stove anyway. Jacob said it was like stuffing Kleenex into your brassiere.

Enough narcissism for the day for ya?

§ 2 Responses to Chopping Wood

  • kate says:

    Sofya, as a current city dweller I must let you know that not only do folks in the city garden (Pittsburgh is full of backyard gardens bursting with tomato vines in the summer, and beneath my urban rooftop was a veritable Rapunzel like fairytale garden worthy of many countrydwellers) but in the hidden space behind the big brick houses where we are moving, there is a huge woodpile and a next door neighbor who glories in splitting and stacking wood with a precision which rivals that of Vince Hundt.

  • Sofya says:

    No, that is true! I mostly had in mind my college friends (who are perhaps my primary audience) though, who are somewhat less likely to do it.

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