It’s a pretty steep learning curve when it comes to preparing for an upstate New York winter, and every day presents a new something to figure out. Take the issue of fire wood…
In New Jersey, we ordered a cord of wood that was neatly stacked by the side of the house and on an attractive hoop on our porch. That was it. And we could place this order anytime, even in November, for immediate delivery, and stacking was always included for an added convenience. New Jersey is all about added convenience and immediate gratification.
Here in upstate New York, firewood is something to be calculated and planned for in June, delivered in July, and, as for stacking, you are on your own. Since we moved here in July and I had other things on my mind in August (how to fit the contents of the old house in the farm house), I fell woefully behind in terms of wood prep. Everyone I met said so: You haven’t ordered your wood yet? Oh, that’s not good. You’d better get on it right away, although it might be too late, already.
Then, of course, there was the issue of how much wood. On this, my wood consultants were pretty much in agreement – six cords, at the very least. I Googled six cords of wood just to get a visual, which just about freaked me out. That was a LOT of wood! But, who am I but a know nothing suburban New Jersey transplant? So the order for wood was placed.
Where are you going put the wood? Asked the very nice man who arrived with his first (of six) truck load. This, at it turns out, is a problem I have been trying to address, to no avail. There is nowhere to put a woodshed where it would be most convenient – behind the farmhouse, by the back door, where I could get at it still dressed in winter pajamas and slippers. Everyone asked had one opinion – storing most of the wood in one of the big barns at the bottom of driveway and carting the wood up as needed. I’ve seen photographs of this driveway in winter, and no way no how could I see myself trekking up and down this incline to fetch wood, even in this fancy Kubota rtv which everyone also insists I must have:
Well, the time for some decision making is at hand, because half the wood has been delivered and the rest is on the way. One half sits by the roadside, and neighbors are taking note every passing day. They slow down, glance at the wood, then glance at me as I garden or sweep the porch or do anything but stack wood. Then they smile and drive away. I take note this smile which I, being overly conscious of my very visible NJ license plates, perceive as full of derision.
First things first: before I stack wood, I must attend to changing those license plates. Then, to show I mean business, I will park that Kubota right by that pile of wood.