I guess because it is so blessed hot and dry right now that I have been thinking about cold weather, winters full of snow and ice.
One of the realities of living in an old house with a wood stove for heat is the day in and day out of dealing with fire, ash and smoke. Every day we had to shovel the ash into a metal bucket to make sure we didn’t set something on fire with the embers. This would send billows of fine ash throughout the house, falling on every possible surface. So lots of dusting and vacuuming. Wood would need to be split and brought in. That could mean muddy boots or bits of bark trailed across the living room. Then if the wind was in a particular direction or calm or high, when we opened the stove to add wood, smoke would pour into the room, causing much consternation. Windows and doors would fly open, fans would be turned on and cold air would grab whatever warmth that was in the house. And the smell of smoke would linger on clothes and in hair until the next shower or wash.
Sounds horrible, doesn’t it?
Other realities of living with a woodstove are the gentle warmth that filled the house. No fans or change in temperature, just a steady heat.
The flicker of the fire in the early dark evenings of winter. We loved the dance of flame in the stove. My mom always said it was company on a winters night.
The complete quiet – no furnace to kick on – only the occasional pop of a spark or the settling of the wood.
There were those few days, after an ice or snow storm, that we lost power, maybe a branch in an electric line or some other weather related problem.
And it is those days I remember… it was completely silent. No noise from refrigerator or clock or TV or radio. We stayed nice and toasty warm.
And it was quiet…… that particular kind of muffled snow quiet. Really quiet.
Now that was perfect.
Until next time…. stay cool!