Is anything really free?
I decided to jump on the free education bandwagon. I put out an ad on a local forum and asked for something free – wood. I asked that if anyone had downed trees on their property that they wanted rid of to please call me. I got a few responses. One from a lady less than two miles from our place. She’s on 32 acres and had some fire mitigation done a few years back and they left all of the wood. This load was all aspen, but she has spruce, fir and pine as well. She’s got a lot of dead standing on her lot, so we might just have to become friends. I clear the dead stuff, her land gets safer for the insurance company. Win/win.
I brought the wood home and sawed it up. Then I told the children that they were going to help me split and pile. When the boys found out they were going to get to use axes, you would have thought Christmas was this week.
Child #2 (oldest boy) is a natural at all things physical. I gave him my Snow & Nealley 2 1/4 lb. on a 28″ haft. It seems to work perfectly for him. He’s got good form and loves splitting aspen because it’s light, dry and easy.
He split a lot for a little guy. His brother, who is a year younger, was hard at it as well. Books are his thing, but he wanted to be like his big brother and split. He struggled to swing the axe and I spent a lot of time with him working on his form. He’s still a little young, though his brother was splitting at his age. Kids are different, that’s all.
He got discouraged at one point and started to cry. He said he’ll never be a good wood splitter. I assured him that he had plenty of time in life to practice. Then I offered to show him how to split kindling and explained that it was the most important part of starting a fire. He relented and used the old Lakeside double bit to make some small splits.
We’ve had more fires this year than in all the other ten years we’ve been here combined. So far we’ve saved $100 on our heat bill, and an as-yet undetermined amount on our electric bill. In the process, the kids have learned how to split and pile wood. I’d say that’s better than a free education.