Stocking Up on Firewood

02/17/2011 05:38 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011


It is freezing cold on the winter river in New York! As long as we have wood for our fireplace we are okay. We have been fairly conservative with the size of the fires we burn, often with only one log smoldering away on top of a bed of coals. That is just enough heat to keep us warm if we stay near the fire and wear an appropriate assortment of winter gear, like long johns and mitten caps. This morning all of the windows inside had a thick layer of ice that formed beautiful designs. By the afternoon, it melts away, runs down the walls, and drips onto the floors. We often wipe around with old towels then dry the towels by the fire. There are a few drips and we put towels under them too. Though we conserve wood, we have the fire going from 7:30 in the morning to 12:00 at night, week after week for the last month. That uses up a lot of wood.

We have gotten wood from several sources, but our latest cord of wood was brought to us by a friend who went upstate where it is much cheaper. A cord of wood is a pile four by four by eight feet. A cord of wood in the city is almost four times as expensive and way more if bought in small plastic wrapped bundles. Speaking of plastic, I saved all the heavy plastic bags from the voyage and washed them in big buckets with detergent when we did our giant laundry in the summer. Then we hung them out to dry. We are still using them to take out our garbage and have not bought any plastic bags since I got back over six months ago. I checked into the sources of our wood and it is all wood that fell down or had to be cleared out of yards. So we are happy to burn it without worrying about deforestation. Our photo today shows a cord of wood thrown on the deck. It's a good thing we have a work boat because heating a boat for a long winter is rough. We do love our wood fire and the cozy atmosphere it creates in our cargo hold.