Our mild winter lulled had me into a false sense of security. But just as we were cruising along through a warm sunny winter, we got hit with a record-shattering Arctic blast.
Now I know that what feels like crazy Ice Age cold to us is just a normal winter day to some of y’all. But we’re not used to it. And in my case, I wasn’t ready for it.
Until a couple of years ago I always had at least one full woodshed at all times. I tried to let the wood dry and cure for a year before I burned it.
But as we’ve gotten busier on the farm in the non-winter months there just hasn’t been much time for cutting wood. So I’ve been doing it all in the winter.
By December this year my reserve was almost all gone and the wood I was cutting was going straight to the stove that week. But instead of just setting aside a few days to cut enough wood to carry us all the way through, I would usually only cut enough for the next few days.
Then when the temperatures plunged we started burning a lot more wood. On top of that the snow and ice made it difficult for me to get into the woods and I’d already used up all the low-hanging fruit. So when we needed wood the most, we came perilously close to running out.
We made it through, but barely. And even if we had we run out we wouldn’t have frozen. We have propane heat as a backup. When the wind chills were sub-zero it was tempting to just turn things over to the propane company. But I was able to scrounge up enough wood to keep the fire going and now we’ve made it through the worst of it.
The lesson in this is to take advantage of those warm winter days to get the woodshed filled. Time will tell if I learned it.