If you've lived in Maine all your life, or at the very least in a cold weather climate, you have probably had to use more than one method to heat your house. Maybe you use a combination of propane and a heat pump. Or a pellet stove. Or I imagine most of you, like myself, use a mix of oil and wood.

In years past I've had firewood delivered, and every year when it's time to put it inside, my grandfather's words echo loudly in my mind. He always said that wood will always heat you up three times. When you cut it, when you stack it, and then when you burn it. And he couldn't be more right. My wife and I have been chipping away at this mammoth pile for about two weeks.

Photo: J Stew

And just this morning...the final pieces went up on the pile. And with it, went a boat load of un-needed stress. Mostly because it seems like winter could fire off at any given moment, and I'm still parking my car outside. And nothing makes me more worried than having to clean snow off my car. The struggle is very real. In my mind.

So if you put the last piece up on your wood pile, even in the metaphorical sense, congratulations to you, my friend. Accomplishing tasks is the finest gift that a person can give themselves. Other than expensive gifts. those are always better to give yourself.