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Those home fires

January 12, 2011

It’s cold. Really cold. Ice-blue skies and hazy peach clouds cold. Frozen fog cold. Thank goodness for wood stoves cold.

This morning the thermometer on the porch hovered near zero. My New Jersey family, Canadian and Chicagoan friends can scoff, but single-digit temps = Arkansas frozen over. (Though it could be worse.)

I drove home at half-speed yesterday, happy that Don and Jack, who’d had a snow day, were there building a fire – the first one our fireplace had seen since early 2009, when we started taking our house apart.

Then, the fireplace was the center of the house, in the biggest of its four rooms. We used the living room as a living room at first, then a bedroom, before it became part of the construction, too. We hung heavy wool blankets over the doorways and camped out in it for two days during an ice storm that left us with only the fireplace for heat.

Well, it isn’t that cold – at least not inside, thanks in part to the same fireplace. It kept our central heat off last night, and made my husband more happy and proud than I’ve seen him in a long time. Or at least since he opened his happy birthday miter saw.

It feels good to keep the home fires burning.

Because even if we still have sawdust in the corners, tubs and boxes piled high, plastic-covered windows and doors and not one complete bathroom,

and even if my husband spends most of his time at home wearing a head lamp,

things are coming along.

Outside it’s beyond freezing, but inside we’re getting warmer.

What’s saving you from hibernation this winter?

12 Comments leave one →
  1. January 12, 2011 4:14 pm

    Nothing. Nothing keeps me from hibernating. We do not leave the house during the week. Frankly, I find it hard to even leave my nice, warm blankets!

  2. Ellen permalink
    January 12, 2011 4:54 pm

    This transplant will not scoff. This is my 6th (!) Chicago winter, and I still find it miserable. The worst part is the length of the cold, not really any particular temperature. While Arkansas snow will soon disappear, ours will stay until May. Yuck.

  3. January 12, 2011 5:11 pm

    Love the photo of your hubs with his head lamp! I believe my mountain man would be extremely jealous — both of the lamp and roaring fire. We sold our wood stove just weeks before NC froze over. I’m so grateful we didn’t lose heat!

    Also, I didn’t know a chicken could die of fright! Knowing that, I am super impressed with our Fancy. I plan to name our next one (because of course there will be a next one) Jolene on the off chance that a Dolly-inspired name will equal a just-as-tough bird!

  4. January 13, 2011 3:19 am

    My husband has a headlamp on his Amazon wish list. He was super-bummed no one got it for him for Christmas. Sounds like he and Don would get along perfectly … if only Don would share that miter saw. =>

  5. January 13, 2011 3:54 am

    Love that first image – but oh-so-over the cold and ice and snow! (And it’s only January.)

    Cute head lamp! 🙂
    (I’m a firm believer in hibernation when it’s cold. Anything below 50 degrees counts, if you ask me…)

    • January 13, 2011 4:23 pm

      Me too, BLW. In trying to save energy, we’re keeping the thermostat in the mid-60s. When it’s in the 60s outside, I put on a jacket!
      I’ll agree with you re: the cute head lamp, too. 🙂

  6. January 13, 2011 5:26 am

    Nice first image Leslie. Glad you had the fireplace to keep you warm.
    I concur on the head light lamp…cute and practical.

  7. January 14, 2011 1:32 am

    I’m not save from hibernation. I am hibernating, fully letting myself and not feeling guilty. So far, I’m liking it.

  8. January 14, 2011 12:27 pm

    This post touched my heart like no other. You know how much I can relate to you on this, but here is yet another layer that brings us closer. We actually have two fires in our house, one is propane (much to my dismay – but my husband insisted!) and a wood stove where our family mostly gathers. I LOVE it, it’s the heart of our home no doubt. In fact, in both houses that we’ve built, it sparked the entire theme. I love burning, I love the cozy and comfort. It says everything home and soothing to me.

    Temperatures are cold here too…we’ve been hovering for days around the 0 mark – as in Fahrenheit…not Celsisus 🙂


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