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Dear Mr. Keillor, My wife

November 21, 2005 |

Dear Mr. Keillor,
My wife and I live high up in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. We heat our cabin/home during the cold months with a woodstove.

Every fall, two woodsmen deliver a cord each of cedar and oak to our driveway. It's up to me to haul it in small wheelbarrow loads 100 feet to the side of my house and stack it, after which I spend three days flat in bed with my heating pad and acetaminophen, it's my annual "throwing out my back to heat the family home" routine. Any idea how to handle this chore? And please don't tell me to hire someone to do the work as my wife still thinks I'm young and vibrant (something I'd like her to believe for a few more years).

Thank you for any insights,

Hire someone to do the work, Pierce. Such as those two woodmen. Probably they brought the wood in trucks. Why cannot the trucks back up a hundred feet to your house and dump the wood there? Do you live surrounded by a moat and a swinging drawbridge? Do you live in a treehouse? You will not be very vibrant if you injure your back by this sudden burst of hard physical labor. I am a firm believer in spreading the wealth by hiring people to do work for you, especially woodmen. The lower back is crucial to your future plans as an ambulatory person, Pierce, a man who can get in and out of cars without help, a man who does not moan whenever he bends over to pick up a fallen pencil. Perhaps you should consider moving to St. Paul. Here, the city does not deliver natural gas in large steel cylinders to the curb where you must wrestle them into your home ----- no, natural gas is PUMPED THROUGH PIPES into your home, and as a result, St. Paulites walk more or less upright and at a brisk pace and keep their youthful vibrancy well into their forties and fifties. I am 63 and still vibrating, thanks to my ability to slough off hard work on others. Don't hurt yourself.

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