02/24/2021 1 By BuddyCushman

(Last week’s weather.)

On the third day without electric, without heat, Wednesday, with all those taken-for-granted slices-of-life missing, my wife’s handyman called, early in the morning, and asked if we needed firewood. In fact my wife had decided the night before – the house growing colder each day – to light an early fire and keep it burning through all our waking hours. I’d suggested driving about looking for firewood for sale, charging one cell phone or another within the driving, and we’d decided on that and now here comes this early call out of nowhere other than being blessed and cared for and an hour later this dude – his name is Christian – shows up with two large plastic barrels, one with cut pieces of lumber and large round hunks of wood, the other with small kindling pieces, he drags to the porch and we all masked discuss the lack of power and the gift of fire and the larger gift of kindness and thoughtfulness and he says there are compressed sawdust and other natural burnable ingredient logs for sale up at Mt, Scott, a few miles away, and they throw off glorious heat and he will go and pick up a big bunch for us, and the wife gives him a twenty and a one and half an hour later he is back with 21 logs and tarps to cover from porch rain, milk crates in which to fill and store,

And we burn one after another along with traditional firewood all day, until close to nine that night – Wednesday – and there is a sense of warmth within a 10-foot range, it’s a blessing, and the family huddles there often and when the ashes fade to quiet we crawl under the seven blankets and comforters on the bed and our 98-degree bodies fuel that space and just at midnight I am woken by my wife’s shout – “A light” – and we rejoice in the return of electricity and don’t forget how we have been cared for even here in these days of cold and darkness and missing.