Friday, February 01, 2013
Morning Thanks--we're fireplace people
Even when it's unlit, it's formidable, this stone fireplace of ours. In our 40 years together we've never welcomed such a thing in our home(s), so this whole thing is new.
It requires more work than I'd ever imagined, and I don't even split wood. For the most part, this winter's fuel is a dead pine I mostly cut up myself this summer. But I'm constantly stoking the thing, feeding its voracious maw. We burn wood only when we feel like it and not out of necessity, so we're still working on that fallen Norway; but when I keep it going I've got frequent trips outside. But I take 'em, and it's nice. I'm not complaining--I'm thankful.
"You're fireplace people," those two interior decorators told us when they came over to scout our "stuff." They're two generations younger than we are, and we accepted their appraisal as a compliment. "You've got to have a fireplace in your new house--you're fireplace people."
This one really doesn't heat the place much. When it isn't eating up that old Norway pine, it's sucking up heat, really. Still, it's nice, but we'd decided a fireplace was something we didn't really need in this new house we're going to build. Once those young ladies made it clear that we are "fireplace people" however, my wife and I stepped around the house with a bit more arrogance--because, well, we're fireplace people, you know. Whatever that means.
Well, whatever that means, we like it, so now we're likely going with a fireplace in the new house too, but putting in a fake. Fred Manfred used to tell me that there's no better therapy for the writer's block I don't think he ever had than an hour or two splitting wood; but Fred was born in and of a different age. He could also sing the somewhat muted praise of outdoor plumbing and we're not going there either, I tell you.
But we've decided that we're fireplace people now, and when, like yesterday, the wind-chill registers somewhere in the range of 40 below (keeps out the riff-raff, North Dakotans used to say--before the oil), lighting a fire, as I'll do again in just a little while, spreads warmth in body and soul.
This morning again the deathly cold outside is terrifying. This morning, like yesterday, the two fireplace people in this old new rental house will findgreat comfort and joy when that old stone thing is roaring. Maybe I'll even write a word or two.
This morning, this impossibly frigid morning, I am once again desperately thankful for a warm house, especially the peculiarly living warmth of that old stone fireplace staring me down just across the room.
Time to get it going.