(Note: Keith has now returned from India and I will post a summary from him when he has one, hopefully Sunday night. )
When Keith left for India more than 2 weeks ago this was in our backyard.
Every year our friend Russ delivers a load (this is 12 cords) that Keith and the boys cut up and stack to feed this.
Thus, our home is heated, keeping us alive through the brutal winter months (21st century or not, no we do not have electric or gas back up). Usually, there is a small stack left over from the previous year that gets added to when the next load comes in. Here's what we had left from last year.
And that is all we had when Keith left for India. You may be thinking, "Go to the ant sluggard" and chiding him mentally for not getting the job (or at least part of it) done before leaving. However, your thinking would be amiss.
The wood was scheduled for delivery the first week of July. It came the first week of September. Shortly after the delivery of the wood Keith received an email from one of the missionaries in India with a schedule of preaching/teaching/evangelistic services in which he was to participate (he and Daniel ended up leading a combined 18 hours of services in 4 days). Keith spent every minute of free time (ie not at work) studying and preparing for the trip.
While Keith was taking care of "God's business", God was watching out for Keith's, in several ways. First of all, we had an unseasonably warm 2-week long "Indian Summer" during Keith's absence. We didn't need the heat. Secondly, he raised up a group of family and friends who chose to show their love for us in a very tangible way.
David, Dana's husband, organized an effort to come to our house after work one day last week and attack the wood pile. I offered to feed the crew and the result is the closest thing I've experienced to an old-fashioned barn raising.
I spent most of the day making muffins, baking bread, and cooking beef roast with onions and carrots. The first vehicle pulled into our driveway at about 4:50 but I never saw the workers, they went straight to the woodpile. I continued cooking and setting out dishes with the help of some of the wives who added more food.
At about 6:00 I took a break to see the work in progress. I was blown away and moved to tears by what I saw.
David, the mastermind of the operation
Jerry (rear), the chainsaw wonder
The cut logs were loaded onto a truck and driven about 75 yards to the barn for stacking. Bryce was in his own little heaven as he was given the job of driving the truck.
Marty (green shirt below) was a walking miracle among us. Just 13 days before this picture was taken he lost control of his motorcycle, hit a semi, and laid the bike down on the highway--wearing jeans and a t-shirt (and a helmet) and going 65 mph. He is definitely still in recovery mode from deep bruises, scrapes, abrasions, and a puncture wound; but, he joined the crew, and even threw a few logs...amazing.
The chainsaws shut down at 7:00 when it got too dark to see. I had supper ready but no one came in. I headed out at about 7:20 to see what was going on and found the entire crew gathered in the dim light by the barn still passing and stacking.
It doesn't look like much here, but those 20 workers (and 10 additional wives and small children) downed 12 pounds of roast beef, 4 pounds of carrots, 12 pounds of potatoes, 3 quarts of applesauce, 3 loaves of homemade wheat bread, 55 cranberry walnut muffins, a pan of oatmeal bread, 2 pints of apple butter, a pan of pumpkin bars, and a pan of blueberry cobbler.
The tears came to my eyes more than once during the evening. Love can be overwhelming.