Appalachia

Getting Wood

Cutting firewood is hard work, not that I have much experience cutting wood, the most I ever do is help stack it in the basement once it’s been cut and split. The Deer Hunter says he enjoys cutting wood even though getting a truck load can be a full day’s work. With wood cutting there’s ample opportunities to hurt yourself, especially when you’re cutting trees off steep mountain ridges like ours. Using a chainsaw is dangerous on flat ground, but its even worse on sidling ground. But a few days ago, I found out getting wood can be easy and fun.

Getting wood is much easier when you drive to a place and pick it up after someone else has cut and split it for you. A place with a view like the one above…

a place where everyone helps put it in the truck (well except me)…

 

a place that’s warm with friendship even though…the air is bitter cold once the sun goes down.

Yep getting a truckload of firewood in the late evening and bringing it home under a full moon can be fun.

Tipper

 

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33 Comments

  • Reply
    Rick Morton
    January 22, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Growing up we heated with wood but didn’t have to cut trees. My moms family own and run two saw mills. My job as well as my brothers was to pick up the small ends of the oak cutting about a 6X8 piece of wood and stack behind our barn all summer.Thinking back we hated spending our Saturdays cleaning out that bin. But now I know it was one of the many chores that help mold us into what we are today.

  • Reply
    bobcat log splitter
    January 19, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    How I miss our bobcat log splitter that was sold for a year now because my brother needed to continue his education and just waiting to buy my father a new one.

  • Reply
    RB
    January 8, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    Our dad use to say something like “Cutting wood is the job that warms twice.” It surely is. LOL
    God bless.
    RB
    <><

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    January 8, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Oh my, a whole week on wood-our world revolves around wood. Wood for heating, wood for carving, wood for selling. And of course, Mitchell’s idea of a good time is logging-seriously-the man does it for fun. None of my people cooked with wood when I was growing up, but Mitchell’s family did. He says for the longest time he thought his name was Mitchell Gitwood-lol!

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    January 8, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    It’s been quite a few years, but we once had a Buck Stove and burned coal and wood in it. It’s nice to have when the electric goes out and you have no heat.

  • Reply
    SandyCarlson (USA)
    January 8, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Your post brought back memories of all those cord of wood that arrived in the driveway for me and my sister to stack just about everywhere. The 70s made us strong! Great images, Tipper. Thanks.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    January 8, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Tipper,
    We love a fire in the woodstove…but gave up our wood burning days a few years ago…We still have the cast iron insert with blower, etc…We tore down the chimmney when we put on a new roof as it was getting old and leaking around it as well..
    We still have the fireplace inside and the insert but have closed it off….Someday a new owner might want to put a pipe thru to the outside and install a new stove…At this time we are looking for an electric look alike realistic fire place with a blower to just give the appearance of a fire and to add psychological warmth…LOL I have a gas fireplace in the kitchen and love it but it is very expensive to run….
    We’ve cut, split and stacked wood on our place many times…One year we got close to running out of firewood….It was very snowy and icy…we had a tree or two laid down so DH climed the hill he, me and the boys loaded it on the sled and down the hill we went…As you would have it…it warmed up the next week for an early Spring…LOL
    Thanks Tipper, Remind me to tell you of my anniversary present the year after I got the roto-tiller! I never did get one of those new-fangled wood splitters…

  • Reply
    Ken
    January 8, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Tipper,
    I love the wood getting and burning process. Earlier last year
    I realized how knowledgeable and
    careful the Deer Hunter was and
    he’s very good with a Chainsaw. Even before I was a teenager, part
    of my job was to ballhoot those
    big cuts off the mountain and dislodge any stuck in the thickets. My older brothers were
    also turning ’em loose so you had
    to be aware and duck behind a tree
    till it passed. I know that was
    dangerous but the Good Lord took
    awful good care of us. I can
    remember my older brother once saying he thought his name was
    “get wood” till he was 12 years old. Great pictures above…Ken

  • Reply
    carynverell
    January 8, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    my husband and i used to spend a good bit of time cutting, chopping, stacking firewood years ago until i converted our fireplace to propane. still, living in the middle of the woods we do have to take down some trees on occasion. we are always happy to have anyone who wants the wood to come and get it-for free but in the last twenty years or so we have had only one couple take us up on the offer-and they were quite picky too..all they wanted was oak. it has always been our motto that if a person wants firewood already chopped and for free then beggers cant be choosers. they can come and get it or it is gonna be burned up around the stumps.

  • Reply
    Madge @ The View From Right Here
    January 8, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Tipper… nothing like the warmth of a fire, is there?

  • Reply
    Karen Larsen
    January 8, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    What beautiful photos, Tipper! My hubby buys wood for the wood stove, but he has to split it. When he gets a new load of firewood, I sometimes help him rank it up (stack it). Nothing nicer than the heat from a woodstove.

  • Reply
    Will Dixon
    January 8, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    We always cut our own firewood when I was growing up.Splitting and stacking in the wood shed was my job. The shed was located about 50 feet from the house to keep the Termites and other wood borers away. Trudging out there through the snow for an arm load of wood always seemed to be my job too!

  • Reply
    Becky
    January 8, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    I just LOVE those images!!! Especially the second one.
    With all the trees that tornado took out we don’t have a shortage of firewood around here. Atleast for a little while.

  • Reply
    Shirla
    January 8, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I grew up in coal country and don’t recall ever using wood except for kindling. We heated the house with one pot bellied stove that was centrally located. Mom cooked on a coal stove, also. The house didn’t have insulation and stayed cold even with the stove pipes cherry red. I live alone now and use a woodburning insert when the weather gets too cold for my heat pump to make it comfy in an old farmhouse. Coal was always free and so much easier to get when one could pick up a truckload in minutes. Especially when eight little hands could load even the biggest chunks.
    I love the pictures!

  • Reply
    Bill Dotson
    January 8, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Tipper I have enjoyed cutting wood for years but the last two years I have been unable to do so because of a bad knee, but I had a total knee replacement 12/28 and 5 days of rehab now maybe next year I will get to cut again. I have been cut a couple times not bad, worst cut was a cut on my knuckle it was all the way to the bone but didn’t hit the bone but you have to be careful and respect the chain saw for what it is capable off, great post, need to catch up on your e-mails I got 10 days behind.

  • Reply
    Lise
    January 8, 2012 at 10:01 am

    We recently installed a wood stove for our cabin heat, and have been cutting and chopping trees from our own property. It is amazing how quickly a huge pile of wood burns, especially when that is the only source of heat! Good thing my husband likes the cutting (chainsaw) and chopping (axe and sledge hammer), I don’t mind the stacking!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 8, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Ahhhh! Memories of toasted buns in front of a wood far. The smell of a big pot of pintos on top of the wood heater permeates the whole house. A steaming old black kettle supplies hot water and humidity on cold dry winter days. The little isinglass window in the heater door shows a flicker but not a flame after darkness falls. The stovepipe glows red. Quick close the damper or go outside and get a stick of green wood or one with snow frozen to it. Been there and still go there but only in my mind now!

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    January 8, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Getting firewood has always been one of my favorite things, although I do not use the chainsaw. I stand back and wait for the work to be done and help load and get it to the place it’s to be split, then load it again to where it’s stacked by the house til it’s cured and ready to be brought in.

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    January 8, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Today’s story brings back fond memories and muscle aches from cutting up wood for the fireplace. I think I am enjoying the thought of the fireplace and burning logs, but I like the fact that all I have to do is turn on the switch. No body aches!

  • Reply
    Bradley
    January 8, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Tipper,
    Cutting wood never thrilled me much, although I’ve done it. Trying to to start a stubborn saw that is set too rich is a bummer. Talk about the weak trembles!
    Tipper that photo of the moon is great. It looks like an Albert Pinkham Ryder painting. That needs to be in one of your books!

  • Reply
    LINDA L. KERLIN
    January 8, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Our little log cabin in the woods was heated for 14 years by the fallen down trees in the wood behind us–then the unthinkable happen and NEW blood moved up there and logged it all out –so then we had to have large logs delivered from a few hrs. away so we still had to cut and split and stack—it became too expensive to do that anymore–so I know about the work involved and only get to use the open fireplace with the wood still upon our land –so it now gets used for open hearth cooking rather than heat–and yes indeed there is much that can happen with preparing wood for warmth and food so one always need to be very careful on that matter but oh the smell of that wood burning is a delight for my nose. You were certainly lucky to find that spot but I live way to far away from you to be able to take advantage of the offer for the wood ..but thanks anyway.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    January 8, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Last summer my husband and a friend did just that, picked up the remains from a logging operation, brought it home and cut it into firewood. (They got permission from the owner first.) I think even with the grumbling, he enjoyed it too.
    Tipper, love the pictures.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    January 8, 2012 at 8:56 am

    I have a few scars from my chainsaw where I slipped while cutting on a hillside in the snow. While growing up I didn’t worry about the dangers of a chainsaw since all we had was a crosscut. My Dad used to advise me that I needed to put a saddle on my end since I tended to “ride it”, I’ve looked ever since but I’ve never found a saddle designed for a crosscut saw. Imagine that. One danger you might mention is using a “Go-Devil” and wedges to split the wood, my Dad had a piece of steel about the size of a 22 Caliber bullet break off a wedge when struck with a Go-Devil and bury itself in his leg, being the tough codger he was he kept splitting and passed away about twenty five years later with the steel still in his leg with gristle grown around it.

  • Reply
    Lonnie L. Dockery
    January 8, 2012 at 8:51 am

    I’d like a load Tipper…and I’d like a wood heater, too! I have a flue–but then I’d have to carry it in and build a fire–better just forget it! I remember getting wood as extremely hard work and I’m just not much into that anymore! Those are some more great pictures!

  • Reply
    Sassy
    January 8, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Seems I’m always right next to my stove when I’m reding your blog. All warm & cozy enjoying your post & friendship Tipper.
    We may have had some warm days this winter, high’s of 38, but our home is heated with our wood stove entirely. That’s how Farmer Hubby & I roll around here, even though we have forced heat. Wood is cost effective although it’s tougher on the body.
    I’m just like you, I have helped a lot with stacking wood outside and in. But once the majority of the wood was stacked outside I don’t do as much. Farmer Hubby brings wheel barrow loads into our garage where we built a wood bin & stacks it there. I come to the door where he gives me 5 gal buckets full of wood for me to fill an antique trunk near the stove.
    This gives me easy access to wood in the early mornin’s to get the fire started from last nights coals. I love our system and I love our wood stove.

  • Reply
    Just Jackie
    January 8, 2012 at 8:36 am

    We really need wood. Casper wasn’t able to cut much this year. Please let me know. I have a wood story, myself. When I was around 10 or 11 my dad took me up on the hill to get firewood.(we were out of coal for the furnace again) I was only allowed to help drag the wood down but as my dad chopped wood a large splinter hit his eye. I couldn’t do anything to help him and he just wanted to get home. While he held his eye and dragged the large limb I got to carry the axe. I thought I was so big because he trusted me with it. His eye was ok. I gained some much needed confidence in myself that day.

  • Reply
    Ken Kuhlmann
    January 8, 2012 at 8:36 am

    We have burned wood for heat all of our lives. Wood heat is the best heat there is. A room can be 70° with gas or electric heat and still not feel as warm as a room that is heated with wood.
    This year our 2 sons didn’t get home for Christmas, so Jan(my wife) and I spent Christmas day cutting and splitting fire wood for an old couple that were out of firewood. That is the story we are telling everyone. People are really impressed with it till we tell them that “we were the old couple that needed the wood”

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 8, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Tipper, those are some beautiful pictures you got of the mountains and the moon. I noticed that truck you wanted to push over the hill is still around. LOL
    I bet you and the Deer Hunter are glad it was there to haul that wood in instead of throwing it in the back of his purty new truck.
    I’ve noticed, over time, that the Deer Hunter is ever cautious when using a chain saw.
    Lots of men like cutting wood. I don’t get it, it just looks like hard, dirty and cold work to me.
    It must be like a moving meditation to them. A dance with nature!
    Look forward to the coming posts on cutting wood.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    January 8, 2012 at 7:57 am

    How well I remember “getting wood” at our farm home in Choestoe, Union County, GA. We heated our house with a fireplace and cooked on a wood stove, so we had to have “stove wood” year-round until we got electricity and a new-fangled electric stove (still kept the old Home Comfort hooked up as a standby, and to help provide heat). My father and other neighbor men helped each other cut trees for firewood and get it in ahead of the winter cold. My job was to fill the wood bins after school, carrying it from the woodpile. But the most challenging of all our wood-gathering was for the big furnace that cooked the 3,000+ gallons of cane juice in the fall to make sorghum syrup. My father was “the” syrup maker for a wide geographic area. So many people brought their cane to our mill for grinding and processing into syrup. And oh! The long logs and “slabs” from the sawmill required to fire that cavernous furnace! As soon as crops were laid by in late summer, Dad started to get syrup-mill wood cut and hauled to the mill and stacked neatly for use in the syrup-making season. Syrup, if it is made now, isn’t done in those old-fashioned ways. But it was a way of life for us then.

  • Reply
    Mary Shipman
    January 8, 2012 at 7:39 am

    You are so right, it can be dangerous! We too, have ‘sidling’ hills here. I go out and hang around with Hubby when he is out with the chainsaw…so far, over the years there have been no mishaps, but I know some who have had them. Don’t forget to mention, ‘widow makers’, a neighbors family had a bad experience with one of those not too long back. Survived, thank God, but had some serious injuries.
    Loved your pics with this story!

  • Reply
    Rick Kratzke
    January 8, 2012 at 7:38 am

    I grew up cutting and splitting firewood and I can certainly agree with the deer hunter.
    My father used to get it delivered to the farm in full length logs then it was us who cut and split and stacked. It was my job during the school year to fill the front porch so there was wood to burn.
    Great post.

  • Reply
    Marianne
    January 8, 2012 at 7:35 am

    When I lived in Colorado I had to stock up on firewood to make it through the winter, averaged 20 full cords to make it through but always stacked at least 24 for safety sake! First year I only had 12 cords and that was a very cold winter for sure learned my lesson always have more than you think you will need!!!

  • Reply
    Sandra
    January 8, 2012 at 7:21 am

    tell Paul I love Down the Escalade. beautiful. fantastic you found all that wood ready for the hauling. my brother cut his knee with the ax while chopping wood, many years ago and also sawed the same knee a few years later when the chainsaw slipped, he was in a tree with it. so i know the dangers of chopping and sawing.

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