Sunday, April 29, 2012

Back to the Hills, Part 4

Yes, it’s a wood-burning stove. Everybody has one up here. I was very surprised to learn they are still being manufactured. Granted, Sis’s original stove came from a WWII Naval barracks, but this one is only about 6 years old. Some company back east still cranks ‘em out.

Sarah, naturally, is a most proficient fire builder. First she tosses in wads of third class mail, and then graduated fragments from the tinderbox. When the flames are established, she hefts in the logs. It’s amazing how much wood that thing consumes in a night. After each trip to the bathroom (usually about 4) she has to stir it around and add a couple more pieces. So keeping the woodshed stocked is a necessity, as is carrying in enough wood for the night. Once, when a log was a bit too long to get the stove door closed, smoke filled the cabin and she had to open the transom up by the ceiling to suck it out.  And fortunately, it really sucks.
The real advantage to the wood stove is that you’ve got heat, light, and a make-shift cooking surface when the electricity goes out. That’s rather frequent, especially given the age of the breaker box out on a post between the cabin and main house, and the ferocity of the winter winds. This was the first time I’ve experienced storms here and I gotta tell ya…it brought back harrowing memories of Hurricane Ike.
Supper the hard way
Now for the disclaimer: No tree was harmed in the writing of this article. Ample fuel for the locals is available from storm-toppled timbers and the Sudden Oak Death (SOD) that swept through the region a few years back. Okay?
Hugs to all.

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