I’ve been neglecting The Chronicles. You might imagine something exciting has taken over my life, but no, I have just been filling my days with mundane chores. With over 1000 posts, The Chronicles have taken on something of a life of their own, with a continuous flow of visitors to older posts. The snapping cold weather we’ve been experiencing makes sitting by the fire with a good book more tempting than blogging.
After a January thaw that reduced our snow cover by half, the mercury has again recoiled to the bottom of the thermometer. We heat our house with a combination of a high-efficiency propane furnace and a wood-burning fireplace. A wood fire is very cozy, but it does require quite a bit of work. A quote, most often attributed to Thoreau, notes that wood warms you twice, once in the cutting and once in the burning.
I have many years of experience with splitting wood and would claim a modest level of proficiency. But my strength is limited. On a mild winter day, large logs defeat my best efforts. Wood splitting is a task that lends itself to cold weather. The colder the day, the easier it is to split a log. On really frosty days, the logs split easily with an effortless rap of the axe. If the temperature drops low enough, I can pretty much split the toughest log in the woodpile! And, as Thoreau noted, the exercise warms you until you return back inside and settle beside the fire with your book.