No, not like pyromania, but I do love fires. More specifically, I love the fire in our wood stove. Actually, it is a wood stove insert that we put into our former brick fireplace. Driving down our street and spying the smoke spiraling out the top of our chimney when it is cold outside warms me up before I even get in the house! And the smell that wafts through the air is oh so nice!
It doesn’t really get that cold in our part of North Carolina most of the winters we have, but it can. I have seen many a night with temperatures in the single digits and our ice storms can be pretty nasty: 2016 Ice Storm . Even when it is in the 50s and that cold northern wind screams through any little crack in our house, you need a fire. Well, I do anyway.
We don’t use our furnace from November until the end of March with very few exceptions. But, let me tell you what: a wood stove is a lot of work to keep going. And, of course, it is a constant battle to keep all the scraps and chunks of wood chips that seem to scatter all over the floor, stick to your clothes and somehow onto your sheets! With a wood stove, spring cleaning takes on a whole new meaning. Ha ha
The first thing is having plenty of firewood to last the whole season. We are blessed to have a friend who cuts down trees for a living. He comes by throughout the year with his big dump truck full of logs and drops the load back in our wood yard. Usually they will be oak or hickory with an occasional cherry or maple. And it doesn’t cost us anything.
With all those logs, we need to cut em up into large slices with the chainsaw and then go to splitting those slices with our log splitter.
The firewood pile starts out small and then becomes a really big heap. And this beaut, hubby thought would not last us this winter!
And as you can see, as of yesterday, we still have PLENTY left!
Of course, once you have the firewood split and in a giant pile, you got to get it close to or in the house. We have five firewood tote bags and trust me, we need all of them. Once you fill a bag up, it can weigh up to 35 pounds or more! It isn’t unusual for me to tote up the steps of the deck and into the house as many as seven or eight per day. You do the math! It’s a good thing this old lady stays in shape! And, that is every single day, weeks on end!
We do have to let the fire go out on occasion to remove the ashes. Then you start from scratch. Everyone has their own way of starting a fire. I like to ball up paper, toss in a few small pieces of shredded cardboard, then top that off with some kindling. Not bitty branches, but small slivers of firewood. Once that gets started, I leave the stove door slightly ajar enough to let some air in. A blaze roars forth. A few pieces of firewood on top of that and the fire is rocking! That batch will last a couple, maybe a few hours and then more wood gets tossed in.
Yep, I like to play with fire. That fire. Our fire. It’s warm and toasty. It crackles and pops. The flames flicker and lights scatter on the walls. The ambience it creates is way beyond words I can come up with. It’s comforting. It’s beautiful.
God blesses. Oh, yes, He does!