Dealing With The Woodman.
| The other day my brain remembered hectares; today my mind is stuck on quantifying wood. Wood is measured by the cord. I haven't the foggiest idea how much wood there is in a cord, but I know that this year cut wood delivered runs $110 a cord.
I know this from Jason, who delivered a cord to the back of my house in late September. Jason is the new woodman this year. Last year it was this mysterious man who only took cash and whose number was on our wall by the phone.
I have always divided money into three forms: Credit, as in credit card, Cash as in a check, and Cash-Cash which is good old green stuff. Last year Mr. Cash-Cash delivered fifty dollars of wood in late October. I know this must have been a half cord because it only took two hours to pile. He brought it in a brand new, bright red Chevy Silverado. Seeing the truck, I had thoughts of giving up the tax consulting business and getting into natural resources.
These dealers in wood can be found advertising on bulletin boards and in the twice weekly paper. Our wood ran out in late January last year, but by that time 'Cash-Cash' said his wood was frozen together and he doubted he could get his truck in back of our place. So the rest of the winter the stove was fueled with Sam Walton's ten dollar packs sold outside his store.
This year I found Jason through someone else who had advertised and but had sold out already. Jason takes checks; in fact he would have dropped off the wood if I promised to leave the check in the mailbox by the road, but I was home the day he showed up in a dump truck with wood piled to the gunwhales. He dumped it by the half dead birch tree near our deck in back, took the check, and said to call if I needed more.
Now this must be a cord. It took me over five hours to stack it up under the deck over several weekends, and there still is a small pile out in the open which I have been using. My woodpile lacks certain aesthetic points ~~I can hear my mother-in-law saying it makes my house look like Tobacco Road~~ but the wood is stacked four to five feet high awaiting use. I have considered buying a tarpaulin and covering it, but decided against it: I am sure a good wind would get under it and take the tarp thirty miles south to Dutchess County unless I wanted to do a Mary Poppins act and hang on to it.
Do I want to know where the wood came from or whose trees are being cut down? It must be near here. Jason's phone number is the same exchange as mine. Will I call Jason some day to reorder and find him cutting down the trees that separate my three acres from the thirty acres next door? I think the answer to this is that the production of cut wood, like the making of sausages, is best left a mystery.
So now I can define a half cord as a Silverado full of wood, and a cord as a dump truck full. I learn a little each day.