LAKE STEVENS — They not only got buff, they got famous.
Shane McDaniel and his 20-year-old twin sons, Henry and Harrison, spent eight months slinging axes to transform their East Lakeshore Drive home into a fortress of firewood.
Instead of selling the wood, which McDaniel values at $10,000, he’s giving it away to people in need. Free, with delivery.
He used Facebook in hopes of reaching a few people.
“My boys and I have cut & split nearly 40 cords of firewood,” Shane wrote. “It is seasoned and ready for warm homes where it is truly needed.”
The post, which showed him and the twins in muscle shirts, blew up with a Facebook trifecta: 9,000 shares, 14,000 likes and 3,300 comments as of Tuesday afternoon.
The hundreds of requests came in faster than he can type.
Shane usually hefts beer, not words. He owns Norm’s Market, a minimart/bottle shop with kegs stacked in front and 1,500 varieties of craft brews inside.
He hopes the side lot will be stacked with firewood from donors. People can drop off wood in any form at the store at 10027 Lundeen Parkway.
“We’ll cut the wood and process it,” he said.
Responses from the Facebook post came from all over the world, offering praise and perks.
“I will bring a hot lunch to you with my grandson,” said one.
Another: “I got three boys who could learn a lot from this type of physical labor.”
It wasn’t just the firewood that got eyeballing, either.
The guys with the ripped physiques became the town’s most eligible bachelors.
“We’ve had marriage proposals,” said Shane, a father of six who describes himself as “very single.”
Some are subtle flirtations. Others, not so much. Example: “My ovaries are pounding.”
So far, Shane said they have given away about 10 cords of wood. A cord measures 4 feet high, 4 feet wide and 8 feet deep, or some variation of 128 cubic feet overall. The going rate of a cord is about $250.
Much of the wood came from properties owned by family and friends, who pitched in with splitting.
Shane didn’t intend for his home to be firewood central, but mentioned that it sits on the former Rucker Mill site. His parents built the house in 1978. He took ownership in January, with the twins moving in with him. He said some of the neighbors might not be so thrilled with the noise and the stacks of wood.
“I don’t blame them. You buy a million-dollar home on the lake and all of a sudden you’ve got the Clampetts moving in next door,” Shane said. “Bless the neighborhood’s heart for putting up with it. The whole driveway was piled everywhere.”
His lakefront stucco one-story dwelling has a bike jump on the dock, a pool table on the beach and two more inside.
“The bicycle collection in the living room, the two 70-inch TVs, it all kind of spells bachelor,” Shane said. “A bachelor log mill with three pool tables, a gym and a boxing ring.”
Not to mention the five Xboxes. Odie, a goldendoodle, and Puppy, a 250-pound English mastiff, also call the pad home.
A wood stove helps keep the place warm, and that’s what inspired Shane’s decision to share the abundance he had.
He regards wood as a hallowed form of heat.
“With wood there’s a primal instinct that makes you ration it,” Shane said. “Cavemen would only burn so much and save it, because there is an instinct in us to saving it.”
Haylie Rude, Norm’s Market manager, has spent hours reading the mix of Facebook comments.
“It goes from pretty funny to some pretty heartfelt stories. I go from laughing to crying,” she said. “There are people who definitely need it more than others.”
And, no, they can’t deliver to England. Tacoma, maybe. Mostly, though, they want it to go to Snohomish County families.
“We want it to go to the right people, the people who need it,” Harrison said.
“We split wood for the people who can’t split wood,” added Henry.
“I want people who are burning cardboard because they’ve got nothing,” Shane said. “Or someone 75 with no money who has a broken shoulder and can’t cut wood.”
It’s not for sale, at any price. They’ve had buyers offering $400 a cord.
“There’s no amount of money that is worth this,” Henry said.
“Too much blood, sweat and tears,” Shane said. “It’s like saying, ‘Will I put my hand in boiling water for $1,ooo?’ No. But I might do it for the right cause.”
As for the heated Facebook post leading to the right gal … Henry is taken, but Harrison and his dad are available.
Hang on, ladies. There’s a catch.
“If you want a date you have to come stack wood,” Shane said. “We can go out for dinner afterward.”
Andrea Brown: firstname.lastname@example.org; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.
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