I have observed, as I look back through the archives, that I have gone full circle. The wheel has gone full circle and yet it turns. My MooseBoots journey has followed suit. The sugaring season, for instance, is done for the year. I have every reason to be thankful. We were able to forage nearly 4 gallons of syrup. Our boiling technique has improved ... it took no longer to process 4 gallons than it did to process 2 last year. We learn and grow. We plot and scheme to improve upon our success.
I mentioned, in previous posts, that we ran out of wood in the middle of February. The neighbors has a surplus and offered us some of theirs. The supply is now out for both homes. Our neighbors say they don't care because they saved over 700 gallons of oil this year. Heating oil is currently $3.50 per gallon (for those who don't use it). They decided to get a wood stove because they watched us and saw the benefit. They refuse to accept compensation of any kind. Perhaps, there is a way ...
The evening, while Wendy and the girls were at dance class, I took some time to go into the woods. I didn't go far. I stopped near the edge and started gathering wood. I had thought to bring along some twine. I strung the four pieces of twine together in two parallel sections. Then, I gathered the fallen branches. These I stacked on the twine segments. I wandered and listened, enjoying my time in the quiet of the forest. I noticed the wintergreen is alive and well. I am anxiously awaiting more growth - I really want to expand our foraging efforts. Before I knew it, I had a large pile of branches. I strung the twine through itself and lifted the bundle. It was a little too big ... I staggered through the snow and managed to get to the road. Then, I lifted it again and started down the 0.1 miles to the house. I am ashamed to say that I didn't make it. I ended up coming home and getting a wagon to cart it the rest of the way back.
The branches were too long for the stove. So, I untied the bundle and broke the sticks into pieces. These I carried into the house. I also gathered the little splinters to use as kindling. I felt like I had accomplished something ... I gathered enough wood for the night (and maybe a bit extra).
The fire is blazing, now. All that remains is to sip the wonderful Wintergreen tea. Oh, did I forget to mention the foraging effort ... oops. It was certainly an hour (all total) well spent. As a matter of fact, there are few things, I would rather have been doing.
I love taking even the smallest step towards being self sufficient and free, even for a moment, of the artificially valued things culture. I am grateful to have found my MooseBoots path. And, I am thankful that you have chosen to join me along the way.