Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | January 7, 2015

Not Every Wife Would Climb Into a Dumpster…

Dumpster Pallet

Dumpster Pallet

But mine would! Here’s the story.

While I was in the woods foraging for firewood at a campground, my wife took our dog Kepler up the road a ways. Shortly when I drove up in the camper, I saw Kepler tethered to a post, and I saw my wife inside a campground dumpster, waving me to a stop.

I was sure she had found something valuable, and I was right…a super-huge solid wood pallet filled the 6-foot width of the dumpster.

The pallet was 2 3/4 ft by 6 ft and very heavy. It took the two of us to lift it straight up and out of the dumpster, because there was no wiggle room.

Then the next project was getting my wife out of the dumpster!

Kepler & Bible-Science Guy cutting up pallets for firewood at Indian Lake State Park, OH in September

Kepler & the Bible-Science Guy cutting up pallets for firewood at Ohio’s Indian Lake State Park in September 2014.

It’s easy to climb into a dumpster because of the footholds on the outside. It’s not easy climbing out of an almost empty 5-foot-tall dumpster. The inside dumpster walls are completely smooth so that when the dumpster is upended, the contents will slide out and not get hung up on the sides. But my wife is rather agile, and somehow, working together, we managed her rescue.

My wife knows I love pallets. I collect them and cut them up for campground firewood. For the most part, the pallets I rescue are made out of untreated hardwood, although a few are of softwood. They make great firewood because the pallet boards are dry and well-seasoned.

Standard pallet construction facilitates air getting to the burning boards, so pallets burn vigorously with especially good flames.


Notice the 5-foot-high stack of firewood pallets beyond the campfire.

Pallet Campfire
Note the 5-foot-high stack of firewood pallets behind the campfire.

On the night we burned half of the dumpster pallet, our campfire earned eight honking-horn salutes from passing motorists.

Here is a picture of one of my pallet campfires at a state park campground.

I have built hundreds of fires over the years. Each one is different, and I take delight in every one.

With just a little coaxing from me, a tiny bright red coal and wood splinters burst into a roaring pallet fire. Watching the leaping flame makes me think about this warning from the Apostle James:

The tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. Behold, how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father; and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. (James 3:5-10)

Bonfire Pallets

Bonfire Pallets

Having just watched the tiny red coal quickly grow into a roaring blaze, I well understood the Biblical illustration of how much damage a tongue can do very quickly.

This picture is of a huge pile of pallets ready for a town’s October bonfire. A little flame will eventually grow into a roaring blaze that will consume the entire mountain of pallets.

We take great care with fire, respecting its power and using it properly. In the same way we should be extremely careful with our tongues and use them for their intended purpose—to glorify God and to bless others.

Because my wife loves me, she invests herself into helping me look for pallets and loading them into the camper. You could say she throws herself into it. On a recent camping weekend, we picked up 13 pallets on the way out to burn at the campground. On the way back we snagged 19 more, but we had to leave an additional 13 at the warehouse because we had no more room. How painful that was!

31 Firewood Pallets

The BibleScienceGuy inspects his collection of 31 firewood pallets before burning at a campground.

Two weekends later in late December we picked up 27 free pallets at a building supply warehouse on our way to a campground and then 14 more on the way home.

Here is a picture after we unloaded 31 pallets at the campground. Eight more remained in the camper, because I figured 31 pallets were enough firewood for one weekend. We need lots of firewood pallets to burn to stay warm on winter campouts in December when it stays in the 20s.

Before I even started the fire, this pile of 31 pallets earned two horn salutes from passing cars.

Once I got the fire roaring, it earned 9 more horn salutes. The next night the pallet campfire got 11 horn salutes and the next night 10. We even got a shout out from a boat bedecked with Christmas lights and playing Christmas music over a loudspeaker, as it cruised up and down the St. Clair River. The pilot called out over the loudspeaker, “Your bonfire is better than Christmas lights!”

Pallet Cache

Pallet Cache

I’ve noticed that pickup trucks give more horn salutes than other vehicles, and men salute fires far more than women do.

Here are 38 pallets which is only half of my home-cache of pallets for camping firewood. We are ready for spring campfires! We’ll probably start camping again in March before it gets too warm to fully enjoy campground bonfires.

For more about pallets than you ever wanted to know, click Pallets.

Now not every wife would climb into a dumpster for a pallet, but mine would! Because she loves me. I’m very thankful for a wife who is wholehearted and diligent about the Bible’s commands to follow her husband.

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. … Nevertheless let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband.
(Ephesians 5:22-24, 33)

I’m grateful for my wife’s joyful enthusiasm and greatly appreciate the absence of passive-aggressive resistance in hunting and collecting pallets. Pallet-hunting is not something to which women are naturally inclined, so her cooperative participation is especially meaningful.

Questions to Ponder
  1. What loving choice will you make to come alongside your spouse in pursuing something that interests him or her?
  2. What salvage items do you like to re-purpose (like using discarded pallets for campfires)?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday January 7, 2015 A.D.

“Is not My word like fire?” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?” (Jeremiah 23:29)


  1. I love your story about pallets. What a great picture of what James was talking about.

    Where on earth do you find so many? My husband needs pallets for building, but we are on a limited SS income.

    B’rakhot and Shalom in the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,

    Abigail (aw-bee-gale)


    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Abigail. Companies often discard pallets. When I see them, I ask the business if I can take them. Almost always they are happy for someone to take them off their hands. Stores and light industry are the best places. Plain wooden pallets are what I seek. Red pallets and blue pallets are rented and re-used, so I don’t take those.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved it! Next time I see a good fire I will salute… Blessings to you!


    • Thanks for the encouragement, Kelly. Campers will appreciate your horn salutes. I always wave back.


  3. I have a lot of respect for a writer that can take informational content and make it interesting. You did this. Readers like to be entertained when reading straight information.


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