On Monday morning I awoke with aches and pains in my arms and legs. I pulled my head from under the covers exposing my face to the cold air. I looked at my alarm clock, the power was still out. I buried my head underneath the covers. It was freezing I estimated that the temperature was in the 20’s. I checked the time on my phone; it was around 8:30. I knew that I needed to get up because odds were that we were going to need some more wood for the stove, if we hadn’t used it all. I rummaged through my dirty laundry looking for something to wear while cutting wood, and then dressed quickly. Before going downstairs I put on my boots, they were still wet from yesterday. As I tied the laces I could feel the cold moisture making its way through my socks. I hoped today that I wouldn’t need to be out in the woods for too long.
When I came downstairs and spotted mom checking on the fire in the parlor, “We’re going to need a lot more wood today.” “I know I was going to head out there right now.” “No, I want you to eat something first and drink something hot.” I didn’t argue and sat at the table eating the last of the cereal with some hot tea. Within the next fifteen minutes I was outside walking down the path to the woods that I’d made yesterday. I’d walked about halfway when I heard mom yell for me to come back. As I approached the deck, cutters in hand, she was pulling out an old-fashioned sled that our neighbor had given to us before she moved away. “Here take this with you to haul the wood. Here’s a bungee-cord to hold the wood in place as you come back down the hill.” I pulled the sled from the deck and put the tree branch cutters on it, and headed back down my pathway to the woods.
It felt like it had taken me thirty minutes to get up to the woods; because my body was so sore and my feet were cold and wet. I headed straight for the narrow trees once more and began to cut them down. I took breaks often because my arms found it much harder to cut today. The cutters seemed to get stuck in the wood often and each time they got stuck it became harder and harder to release the cutters from within the wood. When I couldn’t break through the wood completely I’d take it and hit it against a tree; sometimes it worked. Sometimes when the piece would break into two it would go flying, and it nearly hit me in the face, it sort of felt like the wood was fighting back. Piling up the wood on the sled would prove to be the easiest part, as I tried to hook the bungee it snapped back hitting me in the face. Out of exhaustion and annoyance I almost threw the cord up in a tree. While walking back with the wood pile; pieces fell from the sled, that I would have come back and collect after unloading the rest of the pile.
All together I brought back three piles. As night fell mom and I were trying to figure out dinner. We didn’t have much food, with what food we did have we made sausage, with mashed potatoes and this cheesy filled gravy. It wasn’t much but after a cold exhausting day it felt pretty good to have a hot meal. Shortly after mom and had finished eating my sister came home from work. As she scarfed down dinner she told us about the journey to work. “The roads from Wales to route 20 were really slick, and then the traffic was a pain in the ass as I made my way to Heike’s.” Heike was a good friend of ours who let Lisa use her shower before work and also let her do a load of her laundry. Lucky Auburn only lost power for a few hours yesterday; wish I could say the same about Wales. Lisa continued to talk as she cleared her plate. “Heike said that she’d let you two use her shower tomorrow night, if we haven’t regained power by then.” Mom and I look at one another and then we high-fived and said, “Yes a shower sounds great.” We both probably hadn’t showered since Friday night. After Lisa had finished with her story we all went into the parlor and sat close to the stove. There was no conversation because we were all too tired to converse anymore, so we sat there in the candle light listening to the fire crackle. After getting all warmed up I went up to bed daydreaming about taking that hot shower tomorrow.