She Can Saw

Empowerment by Chainsaw

Story and Photos by Desiré Aguirre

I grew up in the suburbs and dreamed of living in the country, where I would own a couple of horses, have a glorious garden, and a little house with a woodstove to keep me warm during snowy winters.

No surprise, I eventually ended up in Sagle, in a small house on five acres with two horses, a green garden, a snowy winter, and a woodstove.

Taking care of the place keeps me plenty busy. Horses require hay and, in my opinion, riding. The garden requires plenty of planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting, the snow requires plowing and shoveling, and the woodstove requires dry wood. Fortunately, I mastered the nuances of owning horses, tending a garden, and moving snow before I actually got to the woodstove. When I first arrived in Sandpoint, I couldn’t start a wood fire, much less cut, split, and stack the wood needed to feed it.

When I moved into my humble abode in Sagle, I had to learn all about burning wood because the only source of heat in the new place was the woodstove. Fortunately, the previous owners left me a pile of tamarack and red fir, ready to cut and split. My mom, already a master of wood heat, advised me to get an electric chainsaw, and made me promise to don gloves, safety glasses, long sleeves, jeans, and boots when I cut my firewood.

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Desiré Aguirre

About Desiré Aguirre

Desiré Aguirre lives in Sagle with an assortment of furry animals. Her favorite sport is riding her horse into the hills above her house. She is the editor of the Bereaved Parents of the USA’s Coeur d’Alene newsletter, and writes a health tips column for the Sandpoint Senior Center. She plays in the old- time string band, Ruff Shodd, and has a blog, “The Worst Day Club,” for bereaved parents at

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