This is the time to pick up sticks. People with wood stoves are 200 percent happier than people who don’t have wood stoves because they take walks in the woods every day to pick up sticks. (I made that statistic up, but don’t you think it’s true?) I walk past BP with my empty stick bucket and she is disappointed in me because I’m not carrying food. I walk to the old oil derrick, out past our “orchard” (in italics because, well, we haven’t seen any fruit yet, the trees are very young), and out into the hinterlands of Beulah Petunia Land. I like to walk out there and tell myself, “All this land belongs to me!!!!” I’ve never had bigger than a suburban back yard before. Forty acres, while small in some ways, feel vast. A kingdom all my own! FULL OF STICKS.
I fill my stick bucket and walk back to the house.
A full bucket of sticks look just fine next to a stack of split wood.
I look back at the woods. I see sticks. Winter, come on. I HAVE STICKS.
P.S. Dearest Winter, feel free to stay where you are. That was just a literary turn.
P.P.S. Dear, dear Winter, I mean it. You look beautiful, darling, just where you are. In the past.
P.P.P.S. OH WHATEVER. I know you’re coming.
P.P.P.P.S. I HAVE STICKS, SO TAKE THAT, YOU EVIL SEASON!!!!!!
P.P.P.P.P.S. Dear Winter, I’m very very very very very sorry for that outburst.
P.P.P.P.P.P.S. OR NOT!!!!!