Used to be you could get it for $35; now the cheapest I've seen it around here is $65. Per cord, that is. I'm talking about firewood, our rural counterpoint to electric, gas, and fuel oil. In the cities, if you burn wood, it's for ambience; around here, we burn it to keep the pipes and ourselves from freezing.
For the past couple days, I've been working on our woodpile. Last winter a tree came down in the creek, lodging in the middle of the swimming hole at the end of our property. Last week, Mike brought the village crew in with their equipment, hauled the tree out of the creek, and dragged it up on our lawn. Yesterday I cut it up, and today I split it. You'd be surprised how much wood is in a decent-sized tree! near the stump it had a diameter of about 2 1/2 feet; I tried, but there was no way I could lift one of those up to the splitter rail. Enter my tractor and bucket: I could roll the pieces into the bucket, drive over to the splitter, raise things up and simply roll the pieces onto the rail for splitting. It worked like a dream and I worked like a slave (I was going to say "like a dog," but Emma didn't show any inclination to lift so much as a paw to help) for nearly eight hours. I felt like cheering when I finally split the last piece, but was too tired to even whimper.
I got some quality work from Linda who makes a pretty awesome stack, and some energetic help from Gemma who loves to help. Tonight, I am sore in places I didn't know I had, but feeling pretty good about the work accomplished. I don't know if God had sore muscles after his work of creation, but it does say that he rested. I am pretty sure that rest was with a satisfaction similar to my own as I survey the stack and the pile waiting to be stacked. Next winter, it will warm us well. Until then, those guys who get $65/cord aren't getting paid nearly enough for their work. My body tells me it would be a bargain at twice the price.