Monkey has a new tool.

For 15 years, we heated with wood.  We heated only with wood.

In the morning, we got a fire going in the wood stove and then waited for the house to warm up.  It was cold in the morning and we waited to be comfortable again.

It took some effort.

Waiting was the easy part.  Once the wood had gotten to the point where we could fit it in the wood stove…once it had been cut and split…we were on easy street.

Unless the wood was still a little green and it was hard to get lit, just getting a fire going was easy compared with splitting and stacking.

A couple of years ago, we bought a propane wall heater to supplement the wood heat.  It’s still a pretty simple system…when the woodstove goes out and it starts to get chilly, the propane heater kicks on.


I have friends…just about everyone I know, really…who, if I asked them how they heat their homes, would say, “Sure, I do. There’s a thing on the wall that you tell what number you want it to do.  The big number makes it hot, and the small number makes it less hot.  If it’s the summer, and you get too hot, you make sure the thing says cool on it, and then the big number makes it hotter…and the small number makes it cooler. You always have to remember to flick the switch or it will just keep getting hotter instead of cooler, though.  You have to keep your wits about you when it comes to flicking switches.”


Actually, most of my friends are geniuses or close to it…so they do understand things on a deeper level than “flick the switch”.  I’m just being silly. They know better than that.

But the “genius” part is true…I guess it’s one of those “birds of a feather” things…I seem to know a lot of geniuses.

Anyway, we cut and split a lot of wood.  There is a lot of wood around here.  It rains a good bit, and the trees must love water, because there are trees everywhere.

Finding wood to cut and split isn’t hard.

It’s a pretty good deal.

If you’re able to cut and split wood, you can heat your house.


I spent a lot of years whacking logs with a splitting maul.

That tears you up.  Holy Smokes…it’s a workout.

Shoulders, wrists…everything takes a beating. It gets you in shape…but it really puts you through your paces to split a couple of cords of wood by hand.

That’s why I’m so in love with this splitter that a friend let me borrow.

I guess that a paradigm is a worldview…a way of looking at things, an explanation for what goes on.  I guess that’s what a paradigm is.

This splitter gives me a new “wood paradigm”.

When the hardest thing is lifting the knotty chunk onto the rail/bed/receiver (what’s it called?  The part?) of the splitter and then moving the handle to let the magic happen, that’s a small miracle to me.

I could be a small ape dancing around the what? Obelisk? Monolith?  That thing in the movie 2001 that freaked those monkeys out at the beginning…that big black thing.  It makes me so happy to dance around the magic wood machine. It is magic to see it push through the knottiest, burliest hunk of unsplittable oak like it was butter that required a beefy hydraulic tool to slice.

2001 apes

That’s a good thing.

You know?

Anyway, it gives me such joy to let a machine that’s stronger than me do the work I used to do with sheer brawn.

I am enamored with this splitter.

I can’t go back to the farm… now that I’ve seen Paree.

But what am I going to do with all my free time?

I guess I’ll just have to make the pile of wood bigger.


About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

Comments are closed.