Tag Archives: wood stove

Burn, baby, burn

I.  Stoking the wood stove hour after hour comforts me.  The repetition feels soothing, logs clinking upon logs, flame burning, heat rising.

II. Writing sentence after sentence burns the same way inside me.  Joy builds with each unexpected word.  Delight tingles when two opposing ideas reconcile. I am stunned silent before the power of words, and always grateful for this craft, this stoking, this amazing possibility of tinder and flame.

Stump, maul

Stump, maul

III.  Photography takes my spirit by surprise.  I never think about taking pictures.  Days and weeks and sometimes months pass without interest in capturing sight, curve, flash, energy.  Photography inhabits my body sometimes, takes over, grabs the camera, insists upon expression.  It’s not me.  I’m its servant.  When it lights its match, I’m putty in its power.  People glimpse me with a camera in hand and think its me.  They see joy and think its mine.  They don’t know I’m simply the log burning itself to ash in those moments.

IV.  Another hour, another log.  Burn, my child, burn.  You’re not losing anything.  We’re gaining your precious heat.

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Baby, it’s cold…inside

There's a star in the woods on Christmas morn'...

There’s a star in the woods on Christmas morn’…

Never mind the outside temperature.

It brags 12 degrees (-11 C), shame on that thermometer at 4 p.m., Sunday afternoon.

It’s shivered below zero for nights.  Winter appears early in the north this year.

Barry just departed the house.  “Feels like a heat wave!” he announced (perhaps sarcastically) as he shut the door.


It’s so.  Darn.  Cold.

We keep feeding the hungry wood stove.  One log, two logs.  Three logs, four logs.  Aren’t you satisfied yet, you greedy creature?  Must you munch more and more and MORE?

Must we feed you every hour?  Hey, don’t you know it’s only December?

Baby, it’s cold Inside.

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Endless clink of logs: filling the wood room another moonlit night

Full cold steady stare of white moon’s face illuminates our wood room filling adventures.

Sparkling snowflakes gleam against dark evergreens like fireflies.  Soft and alive and diamond, then gone.

We crank open the heavy wood room door.  An endless winter chore.  Three and a half tall rows of split wood must be hauled in from the tidy silver tarp-covered wood pile and stacked in our wood room.

We fill the unfinished wood room after dark.  It takes three nights because we’re–dare I label it?–almost elders.  It takes middle-aged folks longer than spry young’uns.  We fill maybe an inside row each evening with the heavy maple logs. (In our pioneer youth with willing children, if we were lucky to get willing children to help, we did this in a night.  I swear it was so.)

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The week of the pears and other Northwood tales

Filling the wood room

Just a short little post with pictures of our daily life here in the woods. 

Our tree in the living room--not yet decorated.

It’s taken us days to get the tree halfway decorated.  Last night we finally hung the star and lights and garland.  Both of our strings of colored light contained renegade lights which wouldn’t turn on, so we threw them away.  Don’t want to burn down the house attempting to utilize an old string of lights, you know.

We're slowly getting the tree decorated

 Barry announced–after hanging our white lights on the tree–”It looks like a tree in the mall!”

We’ve never strung white lights on the tree before.  A new Christmastime experience!  (What color of lights do you string on your Christmas trees?)

Wine glass stem--and stars

Barry dons snowmobile helmet to plow. Because the wind is so fierce & freezing.

We sure didn’t get lots of snow from the snowstorm last week.  Not like folks in Minnesota and Wisconsin and lower Michigan.  Although different parts of the Upper Peninsula did experience a wild storm.  We maybe have eight to ten inches on the ground.  I’m not sure. 

I was trying to estimate last night when emptying the bucket of woodstove ashes.  In the middle of the winter you sink above your knees.  Last night the official snow line was below the boot tops.

Yet another view of our "Little House in the Big Woods"

We have to get the wood room filled.  Sigh.  Kiah promises to help fill the  wood room when she’s home next week, but we’re in need of logs to burn NOW.  Barry insisted I do the easy job.  He handed the logs into the wood room and I dropped them mostly effortlessly onto the pile.  No hassle.  No stress. 

Winter chores must get done, no matter how one feels.

Pears to share

Besides that, it’s been the Week of the Pears.  One of our neighbors appeared last month selling fruit for the L’Anse Booster Club or Band or some similar organization. 

“No, I’m sorry,” I said, “my mother-in-law always sends us oranges and grapefruits.  Guess we can’t get help you out.”

She smiled sweetly.  You know, the kind of sweetly that melts your heart and makes you want to order something.

“How about pears?” she asked.

“Pears!” I said.  “That will be wonderful.  A box of pears, please.”

The pears came last week.

They taste wonderful.  They are at that incredible perfectly ripe stage.  However, how can the Drues eat 24 pears?  Impossible!

Thus, I have been giving away pears left and right.  Book club potluck?  How about some pears?  Schoolkids?  How do you like pears?  Dear friends, a pear or three?