Thursday, August 2, 2012

This winter . . .

After a brutally hot summer that is still going on, I am listening to the sound of the deer hunters unloading wood for the winter.  The deal is, they keep me in firewood in exchange for exclusive hunting rights here on the farm.  We are both happy with the arrangement.

It is hard to heat a house with wood.  I come home on a cold day and no matter how carefully I banked the fires before I left, the house is chilly.  There is no speedy heat recovery with wood stoves.  I have two, a big cast iron one in the lower level family room and a small soapstone stove in my bedroom on the main floor.  They keep the house toasty warm, but as I said, it is work.  I keep a wood box by the stove in the bedroom.  The wood is stacked outside near the door into the family room.  I carry armloads of wood from there to the bedroom, up sixteen steps, and last winter it was with a bum knee.  The knee has been fixed, but now I have found out the shoulder pain is serious.  I have a torn rotator cuff.  How will I manage carrying wood upstairs?  During my recovery from the surgery, it will be out of the question.

Sometimes I tell myself that it is silly to heat with wood.  I have a very efficient heat pump.  But the heat is just not the same.  I have talked to other people who heat with wood, and they will tell you the same thing.  They want their wood stoves burning, they want to feel the special heat that wood fires bring to a house on a cold and blustery day.

All of this is leading up to something I want to share with you -- my farm is for sale.  Farm land is selling at a premium right now, and while the housing market is heating up a bit, houses are still depressed.  So it is the perfect time to sell the farm and move back into town.  Financially it makes a lot of sense.  And as you can see from this post, my body is wearing out.  Now if I could live out here and become uninvolved in the physical activity of farming, maybe I could stay.  But this morning, there was a cow out, wandering down the lane as I left for market.  I guess I could have just keep moving - after all, Androo was here and I could have called him to take care of it.  But instead, I got past Sweetie Pie and turned the car so that she wouldn't continue down the drive, then called Androo who came from the other direction in the golf cart, and between the two of us we got her back in.  As I said, I have a hard time staying uninvolved!

I have no idea how fast the farm will sell.  I have such mixed feelings about moving from here that I really don't care.  I will let the market tell me whether I go or stay this fall.  However, as I listen to the sound of the wood getting piled up, I am thinking that I could stand a vacation from loading fireboxes several times a day.  Whatever happens, it will be okay.  I will adapt. 

If the place sells quickly, I will have more time to write -- until my memory runs out of farm stories.

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