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Mama’s Away and the Axes Come Out

Julia has been out of town the past couple days, so the boys and I decided to make further headway on the winter’s firewood supply. This was the first year all three of my boys could split with me. My oldest has been helping for years, but only recently have I figured out splitting axes that the youngers can handle safely and effectively. It was a hit. These boys have unbounded energy, especially when it comes to smacking things apart with steel on the end of a stick. We made good progress together, and I can almost feel the toasty heat already. I think the boys feel the satisfaction too. As we stacked it tall this afternoon, they couldn’t help...

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“Every man looks at his wood-pile with a kind of affection. I love to have mine before my window, and the more chips the better to remind me of my pleasing work. I had an old axe which nobody claimed, with which by spells in winter days, on the sunny side of the house, I played about the stumps which I had got out of my bean-field. As my driver prophesied when I was plowing, they warmed me twice, once while I was splitting them, and again when they were on the fire, so that no fuel could give out more heat.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden.  The most well-known portion of the above quote, concerning the way firewood warms...

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