I have mentioned before that we have a wood stove in our old house. At times we have used it exclusively for heat and during the ice storm we even used it for cooking. At that time, it really was a lifesaver. It never really occurred to me, before moving to Smalltownland, that I would ever live in a house with wood heat. I mean, I thought that was something from a bygone era, certainly not something I would have in my own modern home.
Well, have it I do. And this year, Secret Agent Man has been motivated to make sure we have enough wood for our house....and maybe someone else's.
Cutting wood, hauling it, stacking it, and then bringing it into the house is a tremendous amount of work. Through the years we have used only fallen trees on our farm, or from a friend's farm. And yes, Secret Agent Man likes to do the work himself.
Although this seems laborious, I can't imagine what it was like in earlier times when you had to rely on the fire for heat and cooking. The following excerpt from, "The Foxfire 40th Anniversary Book - Faith, Family, and the Land", will not only have you loving your modern heat source, but you will also appreciate a box of matches.
"We didn't depend on matches then like we do now, so we'd have to keep the fire covered up. If your fire went out and you didn't have any coals to build the fire, you'd have to go down to the first neighbor and borrow some coals. You'd take a bucket or somethin' down there and get the bucket full of coals and bring them back to the house and put them in and get your fire started." R.M. (Mack) Dickerson, Summer 1976
I appreciate Secret Agent Man's work, our electric heat, and our box of matches. I also appreciate the fact that there is nothing quite like relaxing in front of a warm fire after a long, cold day.
I would be remiss if I didn't give some kudos to my Jack Russell buddy. She likes to chase the occasional mouse, lizard, and snake from the wood pile. A dog's work is never done.
Stay warm my friends.