I’m not a fan of winter. I suppose I was an enthusiast at one time, when building snow forts was obligatory and throwing snowballs unavoidable and careening down the hill on a long wooden toboggan or aluminum flying saucer was requisite; all part of the natural rights of childhood. But now I grimace through the frosted glass and hoist my shoulders to my ears while I long for the freedom of spring and summer and fall.
I’m ashamed to admit the afore-mentioned and wince at my apparent abandonment of childhood enthusiasm, but in my defense, though it seems I am grasping at straws, while I was happy building snow forts and throwing snowballs and careening down hills, someone else was shoveling, someone else was paying the hydro bill, someone else was scraping the windshield to get to work and someone else had hands that ached like a rotten tooth from arthritis.
But alas, in all my arguing and wrestling with winter, I am grateful for, at the very least, my wood stove. Despite the ash dust on every surface of the house and the trail of wood chips and bark from here to there to everywhere, I am comforted by the humming fire that bounces inside my wood stove.
I feel noble when I burn wood for heat, a bit like a pioneer and my bank account feels less threatened. Some would waggle a finger at me and complain about the carbon my wood fire releases, but I would argue I am merely recycling the carbon that already exists rather than adding new carbon from the earth’s core to our already burdened environment, but that’s an argument for another day.
The wood fire has a melody all its own, a tune backed up with a crackle and a pop percussion, and the wood fire’s warmth is immediate and direct. A wood fire calms like no other heat source can. I can’t be comforted by the squawk and squeak of my electric baseboards that make my hydro meter whine in complaint. The propane flame does not mesmerize me that is, at best, artificial.
I love my wood stove. I love hanging wet things near it to dry. Though I’ve been known to complain about its heat when it seems excessive, I’m truly not bothered. And my aging aching joints are soothed by the wood fire and they quit barking and complaining and I am most grateful for that.
Now you must excuse me because this lovely wood stove needs to be fed regularly, incessantly it seems, and almost constantly.