With the weather slowly creeping up to a summer-like temperature, Andrew and I were planning a little family backyard camp-out this weekend, but needed a little extra dry wood to get our fire going, so we thought it would be cool to take Brennen down to the woodlot and check out all that goes on there!
The Firewood Factory is a local, family-run business, owned and operated by Luke and Kaylen Janes. All of their wood is sustainably sourced from harvesters in central Newfoundland, and is seasoned over several months to ensure it reaches a moisture content of less than 20% (ideal for burning).
I actually lived on the same street as Luke a long time ago when we were kids (shoutout to Riverside Drive!!) It was nice to reconnect with him so many years later, and to meet his beautiful family, that now includes three mini-lumberjacks! I remember Luke as the little boy down the road with rubber boots and a fishing pole.. and he hasn't changed a bit! His rubber boots are bigger (and probably steel-toe) but he is still in his element when he is working outdoors.
We had a tour of the woodlot and took Brennen for a walk around to experience all that it had to offer. He loved the sounds of the machinery.. and the smell of all of that freshly-cut birch and black spruce was to die for! We honestly could have stayed there all day.
Um, also, no big deal, but I DROVE A TRACTOR!!! After taking a picture of Brennen by the big CAT, Luke asked me to hop in and he gave me an impromptu lesson in how to drive and operate the machine! You guys, it was the coolest thing! I ended up attaching a scoop, driving around the lot and into the warehouse to pick up a load of wood! A big check mark on my bucket list!
I am so grateful to Luke and Kaylen for making this such a cool experience for my family. Brennen loved it there, and I had an absolute blast!
This is Gunner - the family's 11 year old baby who loves spending time at the woodlot. He is a gentle giant and an unofficial Firewood Factory mascot. He was super chill, and just wanted to hang out in the shade. I could totally relate.
We came home from the Firewood Factory with several campfire bundles and a large crate of kindling, perfect for our backyard camp-out!
We enjoyed a delicious dinner of pan-fried cod, beans and toutons inside the house before coming out to roast marshmallows over the fire.
Brennen loves a good marshmallow!
.. and when he smiles like this I can't help but feel as if every painful moment of the past few years has led us up to today and has been so completely worth it.
Nothing could have prepared me for this parenting journey. The difficulties have been significant, but even more indescribable is the immense joy that frequently threatens to make my heart explode right out of my chest. I love my boy for teaching me what really matters in life.
THIS. This is what life is all about. These are my people.
What a wonderful way to spend the weekend! The thick perfume of citronella and wood smoke is embedded deep into the fibers of everything that made its way back into the house, but I wouldn't want it any other way.
Thank you to our friends at the Firewood Factory for helping us create such special memories!