Fires of August

As August draws to a close in our corner of Southeast Alaska it continues to imitate October very convincingly. We’ve already lit fires in the woodstove on several days, which we generally don’t do till at least mid to late September.

In the past, this would have driven me crazy. Last year, I got the wood in September 25th, and the next day we had our first fire of the year. This year, I got it all done by the end of May, and had all summer long to gloat over the pile, continually patting myself on the back for all the summer free time I earned. Instead of acting like Ebenezer Scrooge, callously urging my family to put on another sweater to get them through the first cooler days until I could reconcile myself to beginning to burn my precious wood pile, I’ve been generous, eager even, about warming the house on chilly mornings. The resulting warmth, in all its manifestations, is most welcome to everyone involved. I resolve to make a habit of this, to get the wood in early, even if it means building an additional wood shed to keep it dry.

People are complaining about the rain already. I’m keeping quiet about it, remembering all too well our concerns during the dry summer. True, we could use a bit more warmth and sunshine to ripen the tomatoes and other garden produce, but they’re doing okay. It is what it is, there’s nothing to do but make the most of it. I’m focusing on the comfort of my favorite old wool sweaters, the aroma of wood smoke in the air, and daylight shining from myriad water droplets on the spruce tree needles. And, the warmth of a good fire in the woodstove.


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