Sometimes you’ve got to laugh at yourself…

I burned the woodstove briefly this morning just to take the chill off. By the time I got back from morning chicken chores it was already out and the iron was barely warm. And before I left I cut kindling for tomorrow morning’s fire the way I always do, just automatically, didn’t even give it any thought. I’ll lay the fire later in the day after the embers are mostly out.


Coming back in to the warmish cabin with my fingers tingling, I glanced at the little pile(s) of wood, noticing that Precaffeinated Joel had divided the kindling slices into four distinct sections on autopilot, because I always lay my morning fire exactly the same way every morning and that way requires four distinct sorts of kindling.

And no, I won’t presume to hold a Kindling 101 tutorial because there are as many ways to successfully start a fire as there are people who do so. The only thing you learn after the hundredth or so time you try to light a fire while shivering in the dark is that haphazardly piling up some wood and striking a match won’t get you there, and neither will a paper-fueled flare. Between those extremes are many, many effective solutions to the problem of pursuading the fire to take care of itself while you brew coffee.

And after many years now, going through who knows how many gizmos and gadgets and improvisations, I finally settled on what worked for me and I’ve been doing it so long now I can just let my fingers do the working while my mind is somewhere else entirely.

Now for a word from a true professional…

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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3 Responses to Sometimes you’ve got to laugh at yourself…

  1. Brandon says:

    Hey look- another fire extinguisher! I think I may start playing a “Where’s Waldo?” game for fire extinguishers…

  2. Robert says:

    I heated with wood for a few years. Oh, look, a video.
    At first I thought “OK, I’m open to learning something.”
    Then I thought “Wait, what?”
    Ha!
    Nice music.
    Too bad this looks like a viable business model hereabouts. Sigh.

  3. Mike says:

    As so many others in the past have said: “If it’s silly and it works, it ain’t silly.” So following a routine that works, ain’t silly.

    I never knew there was a need for “artisan chopped wood.” I guess it’s a city thing. As for me, the wood I use comes from the back half of our property. While I don’t have a wood stove or fireplace, I do have a fire pit for sitting around and relaxing. Plus, I also make charcoal for the BBQ because I’m cheap.

To the stake with the heretic!