Last weekend, I drove out to the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts to visit my college roommate, aka Winter. We had a great time catching up and stacking up 2 1/2 cords of wood. How much is a cord of wood? Four compact pick-up truckloads (6-foot box) equals one cord of wood. (Just Googled it to find out.) Her nearest neighbor, who lives a mile away, delivered it in late July. She likes to let it get good and dry before she stacks it because she discovered the hard way her first winter that green wood doesn’t burn. She counts on this wood to heat her home throughout the entire winter. There's an art to making it last, I learned.
So for the second year in a row, we made a party of it and stacked it together. The crisscrossing ends encourage air to circulate to keep it dry. I find it oddly addicting to stack wood. And I think I know why. When I was a kid, I spent all day Saturday raking piles and piles of leaves down the hill of our front yard. When the lawn was clean and green again, I’d run down the hill as fast as I could and take a flying leap into the pile of leaves I’d raked down there. I'd jump into that soft, humungous pile of leaves again and again and again. I loved the earthy smells, the sound of the leaves crinkling and the sense of accomplishment after hours of hard work. Smelling the smoke from her wood-burning stove while we stacked the wood was comforting too. Maybe that reminds me of trick-or-treating around the neighborhoods on cold, autumn nights in some homemade costume. Nothing like going home again to stir up old memories and connect with old friends.