Wood Chopping. Laughter. Tradition.

 

For the past¬†three¬†years we’ve been hosting what we affectionately call Wood Chopping Weekend (never minding that it only really lasts one day).Wood Chopping Weekend

It started because we needed help. Dan and I heat our home exclusively with our wood stove (in the living room) and the pellet stove (down cellar). We do have electric heat but haven’t used it since we moved in in 2008. We’re lucky that we have a lot of trees on our property, and those that fall are chopped and used for fire. It’s economical and efficient and it makes us very happy. But for the first few years of living in our home, Dan cut all of the wood for our wood stove alone. It took him weeks and while he would never once complain about it, I could see him wince at the aches and pains and I could see it wearing on him.

I can’t remember entirely how it came about, but I’m fairly certain it had something to do with my cousin Melissa’s then boyfriend (now husband) Daniel who remembered fondly his days of chopping wood with an ax back in his family home in Germany.Daniel Chopping Wood

With an offer to help, we turned it into a party, a full-blown event and the rest as they say is history. This year was a little less enjoyable for me because I was sick but we made the best of it and I’m so thrilled that we went ahead with it because of the memories made.

The day usually starts with some splitting and stacking. This year Dan had split much of the wood in advance because he had the time.

Ready to StackWe were all surprised when my 6 year old niece Riley got right in (without even being asked) and started helping out!

StackingThe wood is wheeled up onto the deck in the wheelbarrow and passed (assembly line style) over to the pallets where it is stacked and stored for each access. We have two sets of covered pallets- one outside the sliding door to the living room and one outside the back door.

Riley passes to Uncle Bob who passes to Joe who passes to Dan who passes to Dad. And Stacked!

Meanwhile, out in the woods, the boys are chopping wood just for fun.

IMG_5351My brother tries his hand at it.

IMG_5356Daniel is a pro! His first ax, affectionately known as Chuck Norris, has now been set aside (at least for most major log splitting) in favor of this beauty, Mr T.

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IMG_5331There is still some more stacking to be done out in the clearing where more wood is kept (mostly smaller stuff, kindling etc). We had some little helpers in there early on, but the little guy bailed!

IMG_5370One of my favorite parts of the day was seeing the little boys imitate the big boys- using wood to “chop” other wood. They got the motion down that’s for sure.

Sweet HeartMeanwhile, Millie earned her keep just looking darn cute!

IMG_5295Usually at least one kid asks for a ride in the backhoe. Riley was a little unsure at first but she got up some confidence and ended up loving it!IMG_5304

IMG_5282She also has the “looking cute” thing down (even while getting her hands dirty)!

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IMG_5386Soon enough the hard work is over and it’s back to the house for eating, drinking, playing and general merriment!

IMG_5362Including some chicken on the grill!

IMG_5404And cake for my Dad’s birthday!

It was a lovely day filled with people I love and traditions I hope we’ll continue for years to come!

 

 

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