A few days ago, tree trimmers came and started working to clear some old easements. They hadn’t been cleared in years, and there were trees in the easement that were at least 9″-12″ around. I’d guess some were bigger than that. A friend had asked that if I saw them around to please ask if they’d be willing to let my friends have some of the pieces as firewood. I asked, and the tree trimmers agreed. They were very nice about it. As the firewood pile grew, neatly stacked, in my back yard (awaiting my friends’ truck), apparently other neighbors took note of it. Two nights ago one of my neighbors came out yelling at me because I was picking up some smaller branches as starter wood for my firepit. He thought I was stealing “his” firewood. Wood he said would be for a bonfire. In 1-1.5′ lengths. (?) None was stacked; pieces were strewn everywhere. I looked around, explained what I was doing, offered him the twigs (he refused) and wished him a good night. Then another neighbor came out the next morning and informed the tree trimmers that he wanted any remaining wood for his firepit. Granted, he has wood that’s been rotting for probably three or more years behind the house and had already built a nice brush pile (Snake Haven) along the back corner of my lot… and most of the pieces that were left for him would need to be split for a fireplace, much less for a fire pit, but ok.
All of this irritated me. I asked first. I got a fire pit to start with mainly because of Snake Haven. I talked to the neighbor and asked him to stop developing Snake Haven, and he insisted that it was tree trimmers who’d built it. And then I looked out my window just a few weeks later t o see him adding onto it. I was also irritated with the other neighbor. He’s never been rude before. And I hadn’t taken anything that would be useful in a bonfire… though I’m not sure why anyone would haul wood to the forest for a bonfire to begin with. Maybe they’re going camping in the desert? Not around here, but it is Kansas. Trees are sparse in some places. But prairie grass is abundant, and it kind of defeats the purpose of “roughing it” to bring the bonfire to the campsite with you, I’d think. But it’s been a long time since I was scouting age. Maybe things have changed. I guess at least it would be rough to load and haul enough wood for a bonfire to a campsite and then spend the night, already exhausted, overseeing a group of very excited preteens while you tried to stack foot long pieces of wood into any semblance of a bonfire.
Yes, I’m being a little sarcastic about the whole thing. Laughing is better than growling, which is what I did the first day the firewood wars started. I got pretty mad that day, sadly. The weird thing is that the firewood that’s stacked behind my house isn’t even for me. I asked for it for a friend. And if the neighbors had spoken kindly and asked me to help them stack some for themselves, I would have gladly, eagerly assisted them, too.
So I’ll let the two neighbors finish the firewood wars. Their houses are diagonal from each other, so at least I won’t get caught in the crossfire. Besides, I don’t think they realize it yet, but there’s enough wood in that easement to heat more than their tempers this winter. Not that either of them have a fireplace…