I love the autumn. I am sure I have said it before, but I can’t emphasize enough… the changing of the leaves, the coolness of the air… sweaters, pumpkins, baking, quilts, hot chocolate, tea… everything just seems better in the fall.
While I love cuddling up under a quilt, and wearing over-sized sweaters, sometimes the coolness is just too much, and I need additional heat. The fire going in the fireplace is pretty. The crackling, the smell of burning wood, the sound of my husband tending to the fire… he says that having wood to burn makes him feel rich. It was his top priority when we were looking for a house to buy – that it had a wood stove or fireplace.
The people who lived here before us seemed to believe the purpose of the fireplace was decorative rather than practical, as they had the bricks covered over with plaster. It looked good, but we soon learned that the heat from the fire would cause the plaster to crack. Of course, we weren’t going to stop using it – it was one of the main reasons we bought the house – but the plaster had to go. So over the space of a few days, I chipped that plaster off.
True, I probably should have had a professional in to do it, but that is not my way. Besides, we didn’t have the money for such things. So it looks rough, but at least we can use it.
Unfortunately, though the fire in the fireplace calms me and reminds me of the simple joys in life, it doesn’t add much in the way of heat.
We do have natural gas to heat our home, as well as small electrical heaters, but I have several issues with these. First is that I get dizzy, find it hard to breathe, and get nauseous with these types of heat. Second is that they are expensive, so to save money, we keep the thermostat at about 60 F for the winter (just over 15 C). Even if we could afford it, my son and I both have trouble breathing with such heat sources above those temperatures.
These days I wake up through the night, and in the morning feeling cold. I have also been fighting to keep my plants alive at these temperatures, as they require a warmer environment, and so often I am wishing that we could afford a wood stove for our basement to add heat to our house.
For whatever reason, wood heat (unless it isn’t properly vented) doesn’t cause me the issues that other sources always do. I am calmed by the smell, and the sight, and warmed by the heat, while I am still able to breathe and function.
The family room in our basement is set up for a wood stove. It has a beautiful stone wall, a tile hearth, and the hook ups required to have one installed. I am sure there was one there in the past, before we bought the house, but it was taken out long ago.
When we moved in, we were told that our insurance would double if we added a wood stove, and so we pushed the dream aside as impractical. We have recently learned, however, that such is not the case. To have an approved stove professionally installed, would only increase our insurance by $25 per year – well worth the expense.
However, now I am not working, and the initial cost is more than we can spare.
As I shake and shiver at home these days, and fight for the lives of my plants, I am praying day by day that somehow, someway, we can get a wood stove this fall.