Not Urgent, But Important Opportunities

Yesterday it happened. The unexpected opportunity which, as it turns out needed to be acted on rather soon if we wanted to take advantage of it. Sometimes there are those Not Urgent, But Important activities that are always lurking in the backs of our minds. Taxes could be one of those things, until it actually becomes Tax Day and hopefully you have them done way before this day.

Anyway, getting firewood varies on the scale of importance and urgency. After a nice winter with lots of fires, our firewood piles are low. We have three stockpiles of wood and it ages nicely for a year and then we have three racks of split firewood. We like to have all three of both types full of course. But right now we have two empty split wood racks, and one empty cut wood pile, with the others getting low. So, we are always scouting for free firewood and when it becomes available we have to act pretty quickly - it becomes one of those urgent activities.

 

As Stephen Covey explains in this classic text things we do; all can be categorized as Urgent and/or Important or a combination of those. Getting firewood while its available became urgent because it usually goes away as the homeowner cleans up the mess of cutting down a tree. So a friend told me about an Oak tree cut down and a sign out front confirming free firewood. That meant piling into the truck to check it out.

We loaded the chain saw, two wheeled hand truck and drove to the location. At first it didn't look like much we could use because the trunk of the tree was humongous. We asked the little old man who lived there what was available and he said all of it. We scored on the medium size branches (6-12" diameter) that were already loaded into his trailer to go to the dump. So we had to pull out the logs and cut them up with the chainsaw into manageable size wood. After many trips with the hand truck we had the Ford Explorer full and heavy. The dude really wanted to get rid of the wood because he offered to fill his pickup truck and follow us home to bring us even more wood. We politely declined the offer, thanked him for the wood and departed.

But at this point we were only half done. We were exhausted, sweaty and dirty with a few nicks and cuts from moving chunks of wood. Now we had to off load the truck and stack the wood in our stockpile space. Then the truck needed to be cleaned and the chain saw cleaned up too. What a job. Not many people would do what we did to get free wood. In fact I don't know anyone who would. I guess we're lucky we're both frugal. I'll leave you with this thought. And hopefully your taxes are done.

He who cuts his own wood, is twice warmed.
 

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