Burn, Baby, Burn
|Feb 23, 2005|
When we moved into the house here on the mountain, we had no idea about using a woodstove or how nice they could be. This is the sixth winter here and we appreciate the stove almost every cold day.
Sometimes I grow weary of splitting, stacking, and hauling wood. Hauling armloads of wood up the stairs is not for the weak of back. And there's the constant shoveling of ashes and sweeping of bark and grit, if you want to keep the surrounding area neat.
But the win comes when the propane truck drops off increasingly smaller loads of gas. The bill comes and we can't remember the last bill, since it was unremarkable. I don't see my heating-dollars flying out when we let the dog outside. I'll just toss on another log after opening the door to the wind from over the ridge; a freight-train wind that built some speed over the farms of Fauquier and comes over the top like a tidal surge against the breakers. Best of all, in these uncertain times, we have a measure of self-sufficiency and we know we'll be fine no matter how bad the ice, snow, or wind.
The girls love the soft warmth, preferring to dress and snuggle by the fire post-bath on winter evenings. The wood floors are warmed and we loll about, occasionally stupified by the heat, reading, computing, and sleeping.
Come Spring, we'll put the tools away, and the stove will recede in importance. Its top will maybe hold a spray of flowers or, more likely, some item we want out of the kids' reach. Some time in late Summer, the urge for fire will grow and we'll have the stove pipe cleaned and start hunting the telephone posts and Thrifty Nickel for the best price on firewood, now that Mr. Beavers is out of that business.
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