Woodpiles and Coziness

Is anyone else terrified of the idea of winter this year?

I am.

Just a little bit.

I am the kind of person who is cold. All the time. I sleep under a heavy blanket in the middle of summer, and my wonderful, loving husband is constantly shocked by my ability to have cold hands no matter where we are or what is happening.

Last year, I’m pretty sure I almost froze.

To be honest, there are things that I really like about winter. Hot chocolate, fuzzy socks, warm fires, cozy soups—because soup in the summertime just hits different—and even the occasional snowstorms. Really, it’s just the wind that I resent. And the freezing days were the sun is shining down on our frigid world and mocking me by pretending to be warm. And the icy roads. And snow inside my socks. And . . .

You get the idea.

I’m pretty sure that I’ll have warmed up to the idea of winter by the time it actually gets to us, but until then I am enjoying our crisp fall days, the changing leaves, the glorious weather . . . and my husband’s and my current project of attempting to construct the largest woodpile known to mankind.

Okay, not the largest.

Maybe the second largest, or something like that.

Basically, we heat our little cabin in the woods with a wood-burning stove. And unless we want to be out foraging for wood at 17 degrees Fahrenheit— we do not—we need to drag all the dead branches and old logs out of the woods around our house, chop them up, and build an enormous woodpile that will last until spring arrives.

This usually takes more than a single weekend.

In fact, it’s been going on for several weekends now, and probably will continue until winter comes knocking. It might possibly go a tad bit faster if we were the kind of people who chopped trees down for firewood, the way they always seem to in books and movies, but in real life, that’s a no-no, unless the tree was dead anyway.

In Colorado, trees grow about an inch every year. We have several trees on our gorgeous property that are probably several hundred years old, and you don’t chop down a three hundred year old tree just because you need firewood.

Not unless you’re a psychopath, anyway.

So, we’ve just been picking up the windfall and using up the trees that die and have to be cut down so they don’t fall unexpectedly. It seems like kind of a pain, but really, when it’s all finished, a good woodpile is the perfect way to get into a wintery mood. We can see ours out the front door, and it gives me a kind of safe, cozy feeling that makes winter feel less intimidating and more like something to look forward to.

As long as we can get it finished before it starts to snow.

How are you getting ready for winter this year? Tell me about it in the comments!

Autumn Winds

August is allergy season.

At least, it is in Colorado.

We have ragweed, see, and in August, all of its awful, horrible pollen is released into the wind, and I have to retreat into my house with my air purifier and take allergy meds on a schedule and freeze rags for my puffy eyes and generally just endure the misery until it’s over.

Not my favorite thing.

But! September is approaching wonderfully fast, and—since I can’t go outside right now anyway—I have gone into full planning mode.

Autumn doesn’t last long in Colorado. If you blink, you miss it, so I like to make sure I have all my favorite autumn activities scheduled and my favorite autumn books lined up to enjoy every last perfect crisp day.

It’s my favorite season.

If you hadn’t noticed.

This year will be extra special because, although I am actively running my own business and writing up a storm, I also have the flexibility to work around other people’s schedules. People like my writer’s group, and my sister and her husband.

We’re planning for corn mazes.

And pumpkin patches.

And a few bonfires too, if the weather doesn’t turn out too dry.

We might have to skip that one.

But you know what we won’t have to skip? Hot apple cider. And corn mazes. And pumpkin patches and carving parties. And sweaters and scarves and boots. And turning leaves and apple crumbles and autumn wreaths. And Halloween, which, oddly enough, I did not ever appreciate until I became an adult.

I was a very nervous child.

Autumn also signals the beginning of our hunt for wood. My husband and I are setting aside weekends to build our winter stack—just as soon as I can go outside without falling to pieces. We’ve also got some special dates planned. I’m counting the days.

What are your autumn plans this year? Tell me about them in the comments!