I normally try to steer away from bitter sarcasm here and look on the bright side, but it's been one of those mornings. The Hermit is away for a few days, taking a long-overdue trip to visit his parents. There's plenty of dry, split firewood ready to go, no problem with that. Yesterday the kids and I went to the storage shed and into town for a few errands, then I went to Fred and Missy's to drop off some eggs. I just happened to get there when they were cooking dinner, so they invited us to stay, and we had a great time as always.
I was too tired to start a fire when we got home, so I thought no problem, that's what the propane heater is for. I turned it on medium heat to get the house warmed up for the night. I fell asleep reading Ishmael while Calvin and Starflower stayed up for their usual Saturday night Red Green show. When I came out to turn off lights at about 11:30, they were both asleep under blankets on the couch, and the propane stove was...out. Ran out of fuel. I was still too groggy to start a fire then, much less stay awake long enough to ensure it was burning well. The house was still fairly warm, so I thought maybe we'd make it all huddled together under the big down comforter, then I'd get up early and tackle the fire building process.
I made a mistake in assuming there was enough suitable kindling lying around. There wasn't, and I wasted about half an hour and several matches trying to get something going with too-thick, too-damp wood. The other mistake was in assuming we had a tool lying around that I could handle splitting kindling with; a seven pound splitting maul might work for a 6 foot tall man who's used to splitting wood, but I felt like I was trying to shell peanuts with a bowling ball. I also had the perfectly rational fear that I would end up severing a digit and never being able to play a musical instrument again. Despair set in, and I may have shouted an expletive or two. Or three.
I called The Hermit, who seemed somewhat incredulous that I could not handle such a simple task as splitting kindling. I probably was not nice; it was 50 degrees in the house and I had not had my morning coffee. I ended up saying "Never mind, I'll figure something out." As I was trying once again to maneuver the Splitting Maul of Doom, I saw the neighbor from across the road coming over. The Hermit had called him, and I was beginning to feel stupid about the whole thing, like I'm this helpless little wife who can't even start a fire. The neighbor was nice enough, and in about a minute split enough kindling to get me through the next couple of days. I stopped short of having him start the fire for me; with the proper kindling, even I can do that.
The Hermit had also called the owner of the gas station where we get our propane, and explained the situation. Even though it was 8 AM on a Sunday, and the station isn't even open on Sundays, he came and delivered a 100 pound LP tank, hooked it up, and even got the pilot light going in the heater. Thank goodness for people like him.
The morning wasn't over yet; I still had to feed and water the horses, battle ferocious hissing geese, and feed the Meat Chickens From Hell. I was going to maybe clean out the chicken coop a little today and put fresh hay in their nest boxes so their eggs stay clean, but I think maybe I'll just go for a walk with Togo. A long walk.