What wood would you get? ‘Barking’ up the wrong tree.

When you have been with someone in a committed relationship, you quickly learn what things push their buttons, irritate them beyond belief. And sadly, I have discovered my partner’s. Ironically it is the same thing with me. But why would one item irritate the both of us?

To add some background to this puzzlement, I have to begin with where we have lived in this world. And the biggest, (the best) have been the great state of Alaska. Around September, October we would get together with many of the local youth of our church, and go gather firewood at state parks. They would cut down a bunch of trees, and we would, with their permission, chop it up into rounds, and then quarter it, giving it to families who were in need. We, of course, would take a portion of it for ourselves. This was usually several weekends to get enough wood to last the winter, but I loved having a fresh hot fire burning in a wood stove. There is something so comforting, powerful even of having a fire in your home. Then on one of our spare weekends, we would go down to the local beaches and harvest lumps of coal into the bed of our truck. It was finger numbing work, but the radiant heat coal gave off was incredible. It had the most unique smell, something I won’t ever forget. The smell of seaweed combine with burning salt will forever warm me up. 

So when we left Alaska, my husband thought that this need of a fire in the fireplace was over with. But how wrong he was. We didn’t have the raw resources that we did in Alaska, so I was at a lost. We got an apartment with a fireplace but I had no access to wood. Where was I going to get firewood? He had a few connections at work, and would maybe get me a handful every year of uncut limbs. And I was grateful for it, but that would only have enough to make a fire for two days, tops. And plus, I didn’t have a chainsaw, so I had no way of cutting the limbs, and ended up breaking my husband’s hack saw in order to get workable pieces for a fire. And this did cause a lot of blisters on my own hands and splinters as well.

I couldn’t hold out anymore. Why should I wait so long for a fire, when everyone in our family would enjoy it? Although my husband said otherwise, I knew he enjoyed a fire as much as I did! He would snuggle up to it, and claim that it wasn’t a ‘true’ fire unless you had three windows opened, and a door.

I am distraught. Over the last two years, I have gone to the local grocery store and have spent (in small trips) over 100 dollars, if not more, buying and smuggling in wood. I felt like this was a terrible thing, but it wasn’t illegal drugs, it wasn’t anything terrible. It was wood for goodness sake! Matches, lighters, and a bit of tinder for lighting it all smuggled in among the eggs and milk. 

Well, it started to bug my husband. Anytime I would go into the grocery store, he would look into the trunk, see the wood, and groan. He didn’t want me spending money on a pack of firewood. He thought that it was a waste of money. But there is nothing in the world that can beat the feel of radiant heat from a fire. It is comfort, happiness, and love all mixed into the air around you.

So here we are, on Nov 7th, and I finally bought my first bundle of wood. I guess that every winter I need to face fact, that no reason other than I have been with this person so long, he will become irate about the idea of having a fire. He loves me, and I love him, but who knew that the chemical reaction of heat, wood, and air would cause friction between to water based humanoids? In his defense, yes, where we live currently, there really isn’t snow like there was in AK, but still, if you have a fireplace, make a fire! It is just logical, right? Trees bring hope, and warmth to our lives, we should partake in it as well! 

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