We’ve managed to get all of our seasoned wood into the woodshed, ready for this winter’s fires. Jon did an enormous amount of stacking alone last weekend, filling the shed to the brim.
Preparations have already begun for next winter’s fires as well. The Elm tree we lost to old age will be providing us with heat for years to come. Much of it is ready to be split and stacked, with only the statue (the main trunk) remaining to be chainsawed into manageable pieces. We’ve many (many) hours of work ahead of us, as it was a truly enormous tree. We’ll work through the chilly days of fall, and if we manage to get it all done before winter sets in I intend to be very impressed with us.
Our house is large and over 100 years old and generally a heating nightmare. As oil costs have skyrocketed over the past few years, we’ve had to make some changes, the biggest being an adjustment to much lower indoor temperatures than we were used to. A few things have made this bearable: Lots of 100% wool sweaters, warm blankets, hot drinks, heated rice/barley bags, and our fireplace. As it gets colder, we spend more and more of our time close to the fire. Like everything in this old house, our fireplace is not a model of efficiency. The flue is stuck in the open position. There’s a chink in the bricks through which you can see daylight. And, of course, a wood stove would be ever more efficient than an open fireplace. The repairs are on the list (and the wood stove on the wishlist) but the list is long and must be taken in manageable bites. Inefficient or not, there’s no denying the particular comfort of a roaring fire on a cold January day.