Last winter, several huge trees fell over our fence and power line. We were without power for a week, right through Christmas Day, along with tens of thousands of others in the state as countless trees crashed down on countless power lines under the weight of heavy snow.
This photo shows some of those trees on our hillside a week or two after the storm.
Those trees are a little harder to spot now, but they’re still up there.
And down here.
As the downed trees are cut into logs and split, winter supplies winter.
Much of the wood is still up the hill. It’s cut into logs right there on the hillside.
Eventually everything, logs and branches for kindling alike, has to be tossed over the fence. You can see the fence still shows the damage from the storm. The wire was nailed back up but it remains bent, scarred by winter.
The wood will be split and stacked to continue drying.
In this summer’s searing, non-stop heat, it’s hard to remember freezing temperatures. We had just gotten our wood stove last year, and hadn’t had a chance to prepare over the summer for winter’s fires. Each winter that we live here, we become better and better prepared in more and more ways.
I remember when preparing for winter meant shopping post-Christmas sales to get next year’s wrapping paper for cheap.
I remember when we used to visit West Virginia in the summer and Georgia would send me home with some of her home-canned goodies and I would save the jars like they were treasures. I mean, where could you even buy canning jars anymore? Surely they were antiques! Who even knew how to can anyway? Georgia only knew how because she was old.
I remember when I didn’t know how to start a fire in a wood stove.
Oh, wait, that wasn’t even that long ago.
It’s hot outside now, but I know that it won’t be long before I’ll be putting the first crisp stack of that oak from our hillside into the wood stove and lighting it up. We’ll need a good ten truckloads to be ready.
It’s summer, but on the farm, we have winter on our minds.