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Lessons in Woodcutting

October 15, 2011
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Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 “I know that nothing is better
for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every
man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the
gift of God.”

When I was a teen growing up outside of the little Ohio town of New Washington, I swore to myself that when I grew up I would never cut firewood. At the time, it seemed like my dad made me load and haul… load and haul… load and haul… firewood every single waking moment of my life that I wasn’t in school. Ohio winters tend to be harsh. Temperatures usually drop below freezing in November and not climb above it until March. We lived in an old farm house that my dad spent countless hours fixing up and restoring. He put in 2 wood stoves, one at each end of the house. My chore every day after school was to bring in however many wheelbarrow loads of wood was needed to replenish whatever amount of wood was consumed by the stoves the night before. Those stoves were hungry and it took a lot of wood to keep the cold of a northern Ohio winter out of that house. Whenever I grumbled about turning on the heat instead of burning wood, the answer was always that the electric baseboard heaters that the house had would cost a small fortune if we turned them on. A small fortune we didn’t have.

It wasn’t until I was older, paying my own mortgage and more importantly, my own heating bill, that I understood why we spent all of those frozen Saturdays cutting, hauling and putting up firewood. I came to realize that my sweat was free and the few gallons of gasoline that it took to cut several
cords of firewood far outweigh the costs of running the heater all winter. I’m blessed with a decent salary and can afford to pay the cost of heating my house, but why spend money I don’t have to. I get much more satisfaction out of the labor I put into the simple act of providing heat for me and my family than I do paying a heating bill.

Thanks Dad.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Katie Long permalink
    October 19, 2011 7:36 pm

    Great post! I never realized you guys used firewood so much – explains why you are good at cutting it and setting fires 🙂 Great lessons learned from our parents are not always the big things – but the small moments they teach by example.

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