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Draplin Design Co., North America
November 03, 2009
Afternoon Wood
Posted at 02:09 PM


NOTHING LIKE A CORD OF WOOD, MAN: ACL punches me right in the sentimental bone with this great post on firewood.

But honestly, considering my Northern Michigan upbringing at the hands of my sadistic father, this is what comes to mind:

01. Sunday afternoons passing wood inside from outside, for the upcoming week.
02. Carrying in wood for Mom after school.
03. Spiders. Lots of fucking spiders.
04. Cold snow on a dry log.
05. Having to change my shirt after getting it all dirty carrying in wood.
06. Leaving a trail of ice, sawdust and bark on the carpet.
07. And getting in hot water for it.

We heated our house in Central Lake with two wood stoves. It was my job to bring the wood in. And man, I’d bitch and moan. I hated that shit. I fought hard, but they always won.

But of course, I miss that stuff. I remember the smell of the wood, and the burning of it. Plus, the actual “woodcutting” part of it was always the best. Deep in the woods with my dad, best friend Ronnie and his dad, Gary. Great adventures. Running around the woods, throwing shit at each other (literally), eating nutritious meals of candy bars and pop, etc. And dangerous as shit. Trees falling and stuff. Chainsaws. Cases of beer.

Hell, Gary had this old truck that was our transportation into and out of the woods. This one time, due to our dad’s scientific prowess or complete lack of judgment, they dropped a tree directly onto the back of the truck, denting the truck bed walls in. They had a quick laugh and just walked up and started cutting away, chainsaws raised into the air, hacking off pieces. “Less work.” Crazy shit.

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FINGERS CROSSED FOR A SHIFT IN THE WAY THINGS ARE: An incredible old promo yard stick thing from back in the day, right here. “Nowadays you have to beg them just to get a brochure.” Sure, shit’s grim out there. But hey, once those turkeys realize that bottomline economics just isn’t the way to get someone to drop some loot on a big thing, well, all this will change. Things were different in the old days. back then, selling cars was a job you could raise a family on comfortably. (This link was sent in by Stefan Robinson of the great state of Minnesota. Thanks!)

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WE SELL YARD STICKS TOO, READERS: “DDC-003 “Factory Floor Issue Yardstick.” You need one of these. Quit fucking around and place an order right now. Shipped to yer doorstep. Hell, think of how funny it’ll be to have the mail person walking with this sticking out of their bag? Big laughs. Precise measurements. American wood. 36 inches long. Measure a dachshund with it.

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01. Silver Jews - Tanglewood Numbers
02. Lambchop - The Decline of Country & Western Civilization
03. Promise Ring - Wood/Water

There Are 11 Comments

Amen Draplin! My parents moved us into a log house that used to be a tiny cabin which later had a big A-frame addition on one side. Best part is the entire place was to be heated by a Blaze King in the center of the original cabin. If ANY bedroom doors were closed (especially in the middle of winter) the temp. would hover just barely above 45-50 degrees. Living room, dining room, right inside the front door = hotter than hell. Anywhere else was a freakin’ icebox.
My chore was to anticipate how much wood needed to be hauled in every night, and split accordingly. I couldn’t do ANYTHING until this vital bit of work was done. It got to the point that if my friends wanted to take me out (for any of the various dumb shit we would do as teenagers) they started bringing axes and a change of clothes to help me with my daily duty. Chopping wood also became an excellent channeling of my teenage angst. Set the log up, visualize/channel rage, execute. By the time I was done there was a chopped chord of wood, I was too tired to be mad anymore and chores were done. A small part of me kinda misses that a little.

Posted by: Mike Kirkpatrick on 11/03/09 at 3:13 PM

Fall is a great season for Wood/Water.
For that matter, Summer nights are good for it too.

Posted by: Jon Johnson on 11/03/09 at 3:29 PM

cheers to that! Here’s some pots fired from a shity ton of split wood….you ever wanna relive the spledor I can hook you up with some cords and an axe


Posted by: austin on 11/03/09 at 5:15 PM

Last winter I bought a big axe, chopped the hell out of a ton of wood for burning. Might have been a whole cord. (Though I didn’t know the terminology at the time) We love the cold, campfires and anything that reminds me of my home in the Midwest.

Posted by: J. Beasley on 11/03/09 at 5:26 PM

Dig the chainsaw mark

Posted by: Tim on 11/03/09 at 8:31 PM

…and snakes, i hate snakes. but these things “build character.”

Posted by: brandon sargent on 11/04/09 at 6:31 AM

I grew up doing the same in New Hampshire— three cords carried to the shed and then carried back into the house all winter long. And they were long winters.
Just bought 1/2 for my fire pit, but no wood burning stove in the Narrow House quite yet.
Thanks for bringing me back.

Posted by: Justin Sirois on 11/04/09 at 7:42 AM

my dad used to live on a lake. He told me a story, one winter back in the 70’s, he cut down a tree, it fell on the ice, he drove his truck down to the boat launch, onto the ice, down to the fallen tree, chopped it up, loaded the truck, and back to the boat launch on the ice with the truck full of wood.

Posted by: Christopher Peck on 11/04/09 at 10:01 AM

My Dad was a wood burner too, on the north side of Lake Erie, refused to use the furnace, a lot of cold mornings.

Posted by: Paul on 11/04/09 at 10:35 AM

Hells yes. This post gave me afternoon-wood.

Long time reader, short time commenter.

I’m loving your wise words, and the passionate pictures. I’m a friend of Jonny A.’s, that’s how I found this fantastic place of the interwebs.

Keep the goodness coming.

Posted by: Porter on 11/04/09 at 3:58 PM

I’m from New England, this pretty much sums up my childhood, and hell, I’m still doing it. Firewood sucks, but I really think it builds character, I don’t know, I just think I have an overall better perspective on life and appreciate the little things more because of it. I still think there is nothing better than sitting next to a hot wood stove on a cold ass night, the smell, the sound, just puts me to sleep.

Posted by: Rob on 11/06/09 at 2:58 PM
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