Spring has sprung on the river. Maybe not even spring, so much as full blown summer. Yesterday was absolutely phenomenal. Sunny. Hot. No bugs. Paradise.
It was a perfect weekend for being outside. Some people did yard work. Some tried out their bicycles. Most everybody tried on their shorts to see if they shrunk over the winter.
What did we do? We split wood.
See, I had forgotten all about the splitting-wood-thing. Which is silly, I know, because there's been a truckload of logs sitting out front for two months now, waiting for a break in the weather. And how could I forget when we heat our house with wood and therefore carry wood in from the woodpile every darn day all winter long? How could I forget? How????
I think it's like childbirth. The pain is agonizing – so bad that your brain forgets about it. Even though there's a fully formed human being in your house to remind you of those labour pains, mooching your food, peeing all over the bathroom floor and asking for money, the pain part is blessedly forgotten (because changing diapers is its own special kind of pain). So firewood is like childbirth. Yah, you know every spring you work like a demon but the rest of the year it's just a hazy memory.
But – gak – suddenly it's spring. Time to roll out the wood splitter and the chain saw and, by the sweat of the brow and the throbbing pain in the back, transform an entire truckload of logs into wood stove-sized chunks. For those lucky enough to never have endured this process, it's monotonous and painful. Wet wood is heavy. I can carry a big armload of dry firewood with no problem but freshly cut wood is three times as heavy as the dry stuff.
Enough with the whining. Yes, splitting wood isn't my favourite way of enjoying spring's first brilliant days but I must admit I get an immense amount of joy listening to less energetic people complaining about their heating bills in January. Our last load of logs cost $900. The wood will heat our house for three years. People with oil furnaces can spend $400 or more for one month and not even be warm.
Splitting wood isn't so bad. Not really. It got me outside all weekend. It got me some sunshine. It worked all my muscles and it worked up an appetite and it made me feel like I had accomplished something.
Besides, if I hadn't been out in the front yard splitting wood, I wouldn't have seen this pair of Canada geese (above) sleeping on an ice berg. The Muskoka River isn't exactly Ice Berg Alley (as parts of Newfoundland are known) but we do get little islands of ice floating downstream when spring arrives. They're not unusual but goose hitchhikers are. They hop aboard these icy boats and catch a snooze or enjoy a ride. We saw them do it a few days ago but were too slow with the camera.
The weekend wasn't all work. We did go to a wake on Saturday to pay our respects to a family member. They are wonderful people and we had a nice visit. We went to a movie Saturday night. (Saw John Carter. Fell asleep.) We had a couple of fabulous bike rides. (I LOVE MY BICYCLE.) And we even got our canoe out of hibernation and went for a paddle.
It was a good weekend. OK, so now I need to stock up on Deep Cold and Tylenol, but it was a good weekend nevertheless.
|Beautiful, beautiful weather. The snow is almost entirely gone (you can see a few small patches on the opposite riverbank) and the river looks so inviting. It's way too cold for swimming (like, barely above freezing) |
but it sure looks pretty.
|The water is as high as I've ever seen it. Our dock is usually a couple of feet out of the water|
– now all but one edge is completely submerged.
|Our load of logs in front of the 'bunkie.' |
Believe it or not, the pile used to be a lot bigger – we've already split and piled a quarter of it.
|Our progress as of lunchtime Sunday. |
By Sunday night we had three full rows – about six cords.
Only 20 cords left to go! Woo-hoo!