A cheery fire sends warm , flickering light through the window of the wood stove as the family gathers round enjoying the warmth. Yes, this is the magic of a wood stove in the home. The magic quickly fades away when I send the call out, “Time to bring in more wood.” The kids suddenly find reasons to disappear to their chilly rooms where the heat of the fire does not reach. The magic is gone, when, in the mornings I find that I cannot build another fire because the ashes in the stove are too deep. Then I find I cannot shovel out the ashes because the ash bucket is already full. That means pulling on some boots and sneaking out in my bathrobe in the pre-dawn dark to empty the bucket. Those cheery fires do come with a cost.
After I cut my way in to where the fallen tree lay I got to work cutting it up. My girls, without any direction from me, got to work carrying these rather large logs to the pickup and stacking them there. This is when my third surprise came. My girls started singing as they worked. When my saw wasn’t running I heard beautiful voices dancing around the notes of songs they have learned in their respective choir classes. This was far more pleasant from the kinds of noises that boys make when they work.
We loaded up my truck and came home stopping for drinks at a local convenience store. We were covered in sawdust, dirt, and charcoal from half burned logs, but we were happy. My girls took a macho job, completed it quickly, and added grace and beauty to the task in a way that guys could never do. I think I would rather have my daughters with me for all my macho tasks.