We heat our home with wood – and only wood. One valiant little wood stove keeps the entire cabin cosy, and in order to do that, we need a lot of wood. So we ordered two cords of fine, seasoned, split oak, in anticipation of a chilly winter.
Friends, I am here to tell you that two cords of oak is a lot of freaking oak.
And now let’s do some math.
A cord of wood, when stacked, is 4 feet tall by four feet wide by 8 feet long. Two cords, therefore, is 8 feet wide by 8 feet tall by 16 feet long. Who knew but Mr. Goodwin had a point, back in the 7th grade. Math does come in in handy in the real world.
What this adds up to? Is what one of my children might refer to as “a metric f*ck ton of wood.” This being the US, we’re using feet, not metrics. But you get the idea.
The reality of all this math is actually kind of hard to imagine until it is piled on the side of the road.
Waiting to be stacked.
The picture doesn’t really do the pile justice. I mean, the pile took up most of a parking berm that fits two small cars, and it was nearly as tall as I was.
And it MUST be stacked.
I mentioned, I think, that the Captain was down in LA for three long weeks, right? So guess who got to stack it? Me. Oh yes, I stacked and stacked.
It was like a Dr. Seuss book. Can we stack it? Oh yes we can! I can stack! I can! I can! And then my back got into it. Can I hurt you? Yes I can! Get a chiropractor! L2 is damned!
Yeah, yeah, I know, totally not quitting my day job.
At that point, two of my friends took pity on me, came up from Modesto and helped me stack wood for most of a Saturday. And when they went home? THERE WAS STILL MORE WOOD TO STACK. And then… well then, I got smart and hired a couple of teenage boys to stack the rest of it. Plus roughly 2/3 of a cord of cedar that was piled under the back deck. The boys worked for cash and a sack of Sugar Shack cookies. The best part of hiring teenagers was that my back felt absolutely wonderful as I stood there watching them work.
Going to the Sugar Shack to get bribes cookies, while a crew of teenage boys stacked firewood was not, exactly, a hardship.
Now, however, I am beginning to realize something horrifying. Based on the current rate of wood burning, two cords is not going to get us through the winter. It’s cold up here in the mountains. God forbid the kitties get cold paws.