Andrew Birden Credit: Andrew Birden

So the family was stacking wood the other day, and I have to say there is something downright torturous about stacking wood on a hot sweaty afternoon when it feels like autumn is lost somewhere at Disney World drinking a refreshing frosted drink.

We’d placed our order with our wood guy a couple of months back, and counted ourselves lucky that our supplier was outside the restriction zone that keeps the emerald ash borer from spreading.

It wasn’t our wood guy’s fault the fuel came a little late this year. The reason is that I’ve had a major project going on in our yard, and Sofia keeps adding one thing or another to my Honey Do list.

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There are few things more frightening than coming home and finding your spouse standing in an empty part of the yard and looking thoughtfully at that pristine unused space.

“You know, Andrew, we could build an outdoor fire pit right here.”

To which I mentally respond, “I love the way when you say “we” with such sincerity.  In your mind somehow “we” are going to research homemade fire pits, then “we” will design it, and “we” will head down to the hardware store for the materials and “we” will take several weekends to build “your” firepit.”

Out loud I just said, “That’s an interesting idea.”

Before winter smacks us all upside our collective head, I need to complete an unending list of things that ought to be done.  There’s mowing the lawn as few times as I can safely squeak by before mountain lions begin stalking our pets in the veldt that our yard has become. Then there’s stacking the wood, which luckily we’ve half completed, so we only have 30 more hours of backbreaking labor that turns a middle-aged man into  a cardiac arrest patient. I need to put all the lawn junk back into storage so I don’t end up steering the snowblower through plastic lawn chairs, outdoor sports equipment and an astonishing variety of abandoned shovels, rakes, post hole diggers and such.

Our whole lives seem to revolve around winter.  When it does snow, we push the stuff all over Kingdom Come so we can do basic functions like, you know, leave the house.  When the snow melts, we have to trudge through mud and ice for eight weeks, and then, when spring and summer are in full swing, we stack wood.

Maybe I’m just a little jaded.

Still, as much as I dislike winter, the truth is that when it finally starts to snow, I have a good excuse for putting off Sofia’s next project and can drink an extra cup of coffee in the morning as we watch the snow fall in cozy silence. So there’s that.