Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

Wood Heat

Church E. Modlin, Jr.


Wood heat is best
Well worth the hard work
It even heats thrice…
Once, cutting and loading
Twice, unloading and stacking
Finally, a raging fire –
One that ‘cooks’ your bones

Off to the farm
On a cold crisp winter morn
The air is clean and fresh
And steam rises with each exhaled breath
The whining ravenous chainsaw
Chews through the trees
Sawdust flies like a snow blizzard

Until, “TIM-BERRR…KERPLUNK!”
The ground trembles with each felled tree
There’s red oak and white oak
And maple and cherry…just to name a few
With axe and maul and wedge and gloves
It’s time to “work a sweat” splitting logs
Most oak’s easy (unless it’s knotty tough)
But swee’ gum’s another story
Slab it if you can
Better yet, let it age a season first
A break (or two) is much needed
Before the job is done
(A country ham biscuit and cold drink does wonders)
Next comes loading the treasure

Men hauling, unloading and stacking
All the great exercise
Doesn’t cost a dime
The effort is well worth it
On long cold winter nights
The sight and pungent smell
Of chimney smoke rising is delightful

And the warmth emitted from
The blazing logs and glowing coals
Is very therapeutic…just the tonic
For that tired aching back
A peaceful cozy inglenook is the place to be
You might even “saw logs” again
If you’re not careful!

Well worth it indeed
And worth repeating…
Wood heat is best

_____

Church E. Modlin, Jr. was raised on a small tobacco and peanut farm in Eastern North Carolina, graduated from East Carolina University, and works as a CPA. He has recently written a book titled The King's English (Southern Style, Y'all!) and is actively trying to generate interest in 'dressing up' the Tar River waterfront in Tarboro, N.C.

©Church E. Modlin, Jr.

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2012