Sunday, October 18, 2009


What a cold couple of days. On Wednesday, I was convinced I had slept right through my second favorite season and had woken up to winter. I am trying to convince myself that my beloved fall is just going through a phase and soon it will be back to its old self. Crisp air (but no more of this 45 degree nonsense), crunchy leaves, blue skies and puffy clouds. Surely this isn’t the beginning of winter- I don’t think I’m ready. (On a side note, I was talking to a friend from Washington state today and I remarked on how cold it had been and how that  isn’t normal for this time of year. She said, “You know, ever since I moved here a year and a half ago, people keeping saying that the weather isn’t usually like this.” It’s true- our weather is so weird.)

The only good thing about winter is that when it has gone on forever, and I’m certain that I can’t take another day, spring (my absolute favorite season) comes along and kicks winter’s butt.

I’m trying to make the most being cold (ALWAYS SO COLD!) I’ve got a cat laying across my lap , a cup of earl grey, and I’m wearing the best slippers ever. Known as my smurf slippers, these shoes are the equivalent of sticking your feet into a couple of pillows. Very soft and very warm.


Seriously, I know a thing or two about staying warm. One Christmas, everything Michael got me was for “Project Warm Nat.” I ended up with a Mary Poppins coat, some cashmere lined leather gloves, a hat and scarf set, and my favorite thing ever- the wood stove. There are moments in the depths of winter that I stand as close to the stove as possible. I have to consciously tell myself not to touch it- I just want to wrap my arms around it and give it a hug. It’s almost worth being cold just to experience the pleasure of finally being warm. Almost.

The only problem with the wood stove is that I’m not very good at making it work. Despite this significant failing, the wood stove and I remain on very good terms. I know some of you, with your fancy fireplaces that come with switches, don’t understand. Honestly, I kind of wish I didn’t understand. It’s incredibly frustrating to have this thing- this key to my happiness- sitting just 3 feet away from me and instead of emanating 600+ degree heat and driving Michael into another room or outside altogether, it stands there silent, cold. This winter I am determined to possess the knowledge and skills to make the wood stove go.

First, there needs to be wood available and split- I have tried splitting wood exactly one time. I was quickly convinced that anything requiring an axe is not my domain. It’s not that I don’t want to do physical labor, but more that I have terrible aim and I was pretty nervous that I was going to hit my shins with the axe instead of the log. Here’s my plan for this- we have a friend who has a hydraulic log splitter. I’m hoping to convince him to bring it by one day and just get all the wood split in one go. Then I can stack it somewhere to keep it dry. 

Once you have wood split and ready to go, you still have to light the fire. I’m just going to go ahead and admit it- I suck at starting fires. I’ve tried so many times (usually out of desperation because Michael isn’t home and I need to force myself to get out from under the electric blanket) but I have yet to successfully light a single fire. The key, I learned towards the end of that first winter, is to never let the fire go out. There have been (more than a few) tears shed over a fire that went completely out.  So, my plan for this is to set my alarm if needed, get up at 3am, and keep that fire going. It’s just not worth the heartache.

So, there’s my plan. I’ll have to let you know how it goes. Oh, and if you have any wood that you want to get rid of, let me know. Oak, walnut, maple, 2x4’s, broken chairs… I’ll take it. I’ve discovered that 100 year old wood paneling burns very hot- it’s my preferred fuel, really.

No comments:

Post a Comment