or… The Wood Stove: Exercises in Manliness
This Valentine’s Day I write a note to my beloved, the focal point of our new home:
From chopping to carrying to stacking to lighting to stoking to staring at the flames, I heart you, wood stove! (Even though you are resistant to drawing properly, and smoke up the house every time I light you up…)
One of my favourite camping activities has always been chopping wood for the nightly campfire. Why do I enjoy it so much? I think it makes me feel macho. Especially with my new axe!
Check it out! I feel very manly indeed wielding this baby, and it causes my shoulders and back very manly pain.
(I was lucky to inherit a fully stocked woodshed when I bought this house, so I do more carrying than actual chopping.)
Two of my most prized Christmas presents this year:
And I am giddy with delight when dear old Dad is kind enough to give me –
Yes, everyone needs an obsession and mine is keeping the home fires burning.
For my money the Greek goddess Hestia – goddess of the hearth, architecture, and the right ordering of domesticity, the family and the state – had a pretty good gig. The only downside was that she had to stay at the hearth, and couldn’t go gallivanting about like the other Olympians. Which still sounds pretty good to me…
So I have whole-heartedly taken to this particlar aspect of rural living. At this time of year we have a fire going nearly every evening. And when there are still embers glowing, and all I have to do is blow on them and the flames spring up…