Joys of Burning Wood

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  • It’s a beautiful clear cold morning in North Georgia. My twelve year-old woodstove is just about “right” now burning some poor quality wood that I cleared from a friend’s yard. We’ve been burning wood in our woodstove (my second one) in the same house for twenty-two years. I’ve gone through three chainsaws and four or five pickup trucks. My favorite hauler for the past 16 years has been one of those little 3x5 trailers that I assembled on the living room floor from a Taiwan kit. I put plywood side boards on it and pull it with my ancient Allis Chalmers “G”. With two teenage sons, I have refused to consider a power splitter but have brought them up swinging the maul—known locally as a “GoDevil!”

    Being out in my woods, a few miles from town, dependence on electricity was a concern after purchasing my home in ‘72. The woodstove has been our sole source of heat now since ‘75. Four very healthy children (two girls and two boys) have grown up here. It is messy—constant wood supply through the heating season—but we all profit from the exercise and fresh air. For years rather than watch college football on TV, we’ve listened from the cab of the truck with the doors thrown open—getting the mental vision of play while loading the truck etc.
    Let me end by saying that my children do not generally share their dad’s enthusiasm for wood heat. Only the married daughter has started to get the glow in the eyes about wood. It may have to skip a generation with the others.