The sound and smell of a gas chainsaw brings back memories of childhood for me.
When I was small, my parents heated our home with a wood-burning stove. They would spend summer and fall preparing for winter by driving to Hoosier National Forest, where my mother’s family owned some land and a cabin, searching out dead trees and fallen wood. While we kids would play, swinging from gigantic vines over deep ravines, they and some of my aunts and uncles would cut the wood with gas chainsaws and load it into pick up trucks to take back home.
This was before the threat of the Emerald Ash Borer essentially stopped all transport of firewood across county lines.
Once the wood was at home, my dad (and sometimes my mom) would work on splitting the wood with a sledgehammer and some wedges. They’d stack the wood neatly in various places in the yard so that it was easily accessible.
The wood stove was in the basement, directly beneath one of the bathrooms. I can remember wearing my red flannel Holly Hobby nightgown and standing in the bathtub, feeling the warmth of the furnace on my bare feet. That bathroom always seemed to be the warmest place in the house.
Chef and I have a gas furnace in our house, but we do like to use our wood stove as much as possible. So when some friends had a dead tree and offered us the wood, we snapped it up.
It’s been sitting in our yard for a while, and last week, Chef got a chance to work on cutting it up.
The sound of the chainsaw brought back memories.
The smell of the exhaust mingled with the scent of sawdust took me back to childhood.
Then the sledgehammer and wedges came out.
Isn’t he manly?
Get a load of that FACE!
And while I don’t stand in the bathtub in my red flannel Holly Hobby nightgown anymore, I do like to cuddle up in front of the fire, cozy under a blanket, drinking some tea and reading a book. Wood heat just feels nicer than the heat from our gas furnace, for some reason.
And the reduced gas bill feels nice, too.