First of all folks, let me start by saying I am grateful for the opportunity to just get old. This delightful task is not something everyone gets to enjoy. Well, that is unless you are into politics. Then you still get to vote long after you have crossed that sacred bridge. But getting old should come with some sort of manual.  Not that I would ever read a manual, but some folks just might. You see, there are some simple tasks that if you do not practice them, you will lose that ability. Just take the simple task of putting ya pants on right while standing up. Doctor told me I need to practice putting em on while standing in the middle of the room. Seeing how I usually once in a while follow orders, I try practicing this little task. Here I stand and successfully get that one leg into the right section. Now comes the other side. This is where the problem begins. The toe catches the top belt loops and you begin a fancy dance. It’s either that or fall on ya face. You could just back up to the wall and finish this ordeal. But, I tend to be a bit on the stubborn side. So here I go again for another try. I really do not have to go anywhere this week. I will get my pants on properly before I leave the house. I have been known to wear my shirts on backwards or inside out a time or two. My good friends at the local lumber yard kinda snicker and mention this to me. Well now, I can’t have that, so the shirt comes off and goes back on properly. It would be a shame to do that with any other apparel. So, the unwritten rule is ya gotta have ya pants on straight before you leave the house.
   There are other minor tasks you need to practice just to function on a normal level.  So again, I have a problem here. You see, being normal is not something that works for me. I will admit, there are some rules of life I do go by in my sacred walk of life. But there are many, I sort of changed slightly to fit my type of normalcy. Now, you take just being warm on those cold winter days.  I like the feel of heat from those cast iron stoves.  I did try a couple pellet stoves for a few years, but I didn’t like them for some reasons. Number one, is you actually had to buy pellets to keep the stove running. Number two, they used electricity to run. And the next reason, is they made noises in the middle of the night. That flickering flame gets to be a bother too. You wake up deeply immersed in brain fog and holy smokes. Where is all the flashing light coming from.  After a few seconds you realize it is ok, calm down ole man, it is just the pellet stove. So, the first little excuse you can use, the stoves are gone.  Now I am back to where I started many, many years ago. I have two wood stoves warming my little castle ( as long as I feed them).  And they usually need to be fed somewhere around midnight. Which is not really a bad deal for an old person. You have to get out of bed anyway for other purposes. The other part that I really really like is what you feed the stoves. Some folks are quite strict on what they feed these gentle beasts. Well, here is how I handle that problem. Gram told me, “if it makes smoke, it will make heat”.  The other part of this is my wallet likes the idea I can get free wood. All I have to do is go get it. Here comes that gettin old part again. With chainsaw, birch hook and all that other paraphernalia you go get wood on only the good days. With the hope you get enough to last the bad days. That, this year, has been a problem. So, there are some mornings around two am, the stove needed more wood. I can sit here and point out the window, yup there is some right out there. The inside house temperature is hovering around the 54 degree mark. You try to convince yourself that is a good temperature.  If it was 54 outside, you just might be out there in just a thin shirt with short sleeves. Ya right, it is not the same. But I already have the solution for the situation.  That stick of wood over there I was going to use to make a stand is so handy. And, you know what folks, my chair, footrest and coffee stand are on wheels. I just move them closer to the stove.  The temperature indicator is way over there, but it is nice and warm about a foot from the ole stove. I am warm, thus, I am happy.  No better way to start the day with this nice hot cup of coffee.
Ken White mountainman COB

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