September 10, 2005

Firewood delivery

Just recently, we watched the price of gasoline go up more than one dollar in less than 24 hours. The price of heating oil has gone up too, a big concern in this part of the country, since we get cold, windy winters. This week, I got a call from Firewood Guy, a neighbor I've known since high school. He and his Dad sell firewood as a side business.

Firewood Guy: Hey, Jo(e), I'm calling to see when you want your firewood.
Me: Firewood? I hadn't even thought about that yet.
Firewood Guy: Weather's nice now, but winter will be coming. You'll want to get it split and stacked while we've got still got some dry weather.
Me: Yeah, you're right. Good thing I got you to remind me every year.
Firewood Guy: How much you need? Two cords?
Me: Yeah, that's about right. I still have some left from last year.
Firewood Guy: I can load up the truck tomorrow and bring it over after supper.
Me: I should be home but if not, I can leave a check in the mailbox. How much you charging this year?
Firewood Guy: Same as last year. $45 a cord.
Me: What? You've charged the same price for years. I figured you would raise it this year, with the price of gas and heating oil and all that getting so high.
Firewood Guy: Yeah, some folks are going to have trouble heating their houses this winter. But that's no reason for us to charge you more for firewood.
Me: Yeah, but people will be buying more firewood this year. I figured the price would go up.
Firewood Guy: What? I don't think my Dad has raised the price. Let me ask him.

(I hear him talking to his father in the background.)

Firewood Guy: (returning to the phone) Dad says he's not raising his price. He said that if you lived far away maybe he'd charge a delivery fee to cover the price of gas, but you live just around the corner so that don't make no sense.
Me: Well, okay.
Firewood Guy: Hell, you think we are going to gouge our neighbors? The wood's been sitting in our lot for months now. So just write the check already.
Me: (laughing) Okay.
Firewood Guy: If you aren't home when I come, where you want me to dump it?
Me: In front of the basketball hoop.
Firewood Guy: But then your kids can't play ball until the wood is split and stacked.
Me: Exactly.
Firewood Guy: (laughing) Well, that's one way to get the job done.


ccw said...

That's so nice. I am hoping that our firewood guy hasn't raised his prices too much. I assume he will raise them some because he drives 20 minutes to get to us.

I haven't called about heating oil yet. I am not ready for the sticker shock that will accompany the phone call, but I know I can't put it off much longer since the price goes up as it gets colder.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this and especially the previous post. I needed to read something hopeful this week. :)
Neighbor Lady

Rob Helpy-Chalk said...

I am actually not a fan of burning wood for heat, even if you use an effecient wood burning stove and use locally, sustainably harvasted wood. The stuff just doesn't burn clean. Up in Quebec there is talk about regulating wood burning stoves to protect the air. I've been worrying that the rise in heating oil prices will effect the air quality in these parts.

We have electric heat, and currently pay a little extra for electicity from wind and solar. (This is more a matter of accunting than actual electricity.) I've also been wondering if the prices for the regular electric service will begin to resemble the prices for the renewable service.

Songbird said...

I understand that it's $200 a cord here for green wood. We only have a fireplace, so it's not like we can really use it as an alternate heat source, and the last cord I bought lasted from 1998 to now...but still.
It's indeed a hopeful story that there are people who won't charge more just because they can.

liz said...

I love your splitting and stacking incentive.

dr four eyes said...

Your firewood guy rocks.

Reminds me that we need to call about getting our firewood. Not your point, but thanks anyway!

Yankee T said...

Great story.

Phantom Scribbler said...

Jealous. I wish we had a fireplace. Natural gas is supposed to go up in price almost 50%. I just hope the price of wool and sweaters doesn't go up too much...

BrightStar said...

Our fireplace is a gas fireplace. :( The gas company guy that came out to check it out last winter told us that the gas companies love these fireplaces because they're so inefficient.

Anyhow, I loved hearing that conversation. It's great that some business folks think of their clients as neighbors. Sometimes they literally are, but we're all neighbors, in a way. Also, good plan about the basketball hoop! : )

Pink Cupcake said...

I love to hear about people like Firewood Guy, it warms (no pun intended!) my heart. So community-spirited.

Running2Ks said...

Finally, a nice guy doing his job instead of looking to take advantage!

Ianqui said...

Wow. Sometimes it makes me feel good to hear stories about ethical people.

cheesehead said...

I *heart* firewood guy!

Anonymous said...

I heart firewood guy and I really heart clever jo(e)'s stacking incentive!!!

Rana said...

I'm with Phantom in envying you your fireplace and worrying about the natural gas. We have a high-efficiency furnace, but still.

Well, if it's a cold winter, it will give me the excuse I need to do lots of knitting and to wear all the fleece that's currently hiding under the bed.