Monday, April 7, 2014

Waste Not, Want Not

This has been a hellish winter to try to heat with wood. It's been cold and rainy and snowy and windy and miserable; trying to keep a house warm with a wood stove this winter was a challenging task.

And it's ongoing. With nippy "spring" nights and mornings still happening here, it feels like everyone I talk with around here is lamenting their lack of wood.

I smugly bought 6 cords last fall. So much wood, I thought, that I blithely sold a little bit to a chilly neighbour waiting on a delivery of firewood back in October. When he ran out of wood again a little later, I gave him some more, this time asking no payment – "If I run out in the spring, you can get my back with some of that wood you're getting delivered."

Here it is, spring, he's totally out of wood and I'm almost out!

Fortunately, it's staying far enough above zero that my rented house is in no danger of the pipes freezing.

I've moved to the tiny house, which came with 8 feed bags of wood (mostly lumber scraps and kindling).

Which I have burned.

Plus about 5 feed bags full of lumber scraps that my Pops donated to the cause.

All burned.

And so, today, I found myself crouching down to scavenge at the spot where the wood gets dumped here at my rented house each fall. I filled 3 feed bags with sticks and bits of bark that were deemed too small to bother with in past years as the wood was being stacked. Worthless bits of scrap turned precious, and happily just the right size to fit into my Tiny Stove.

As I gathered them up, I thought of generations past who no doubt gathered up and burned every single morsel of fuel they could. I thought of Laura Ingalls Wilder twisting hay into sticks to stave off the cold of the Long Winter. And of Dublin waifs following the carts delivering coal and peat in the hopes a piece or two would fall.

And I suspect that I'll be back here to pick up the pieces I deemed too small to bother with today. Let no scrap be wasted.


  1. Don't cut up the furniture just yet.

    1. Hahaha! I have been eyeing a few pieces, Frank! But spring is getting more spring-like, fortunately!