Those Romantic Wood Stoves (5 Dec 2011):
There are some good things about heating with wood. I like that wood is a renewable resource and that all of the wood we burn came from the forest around the cabin. I like that heating with wood has an ancient heritage, and now I understand this heritage better. I like the notion of bringing in the wood and starting a fire in the stove. I enjoy learning how beach, ash and maple each burn slightly differently. I like the animals that live in the stacks of wood.
Craig Leisher, Green: a blog about energy and the environment
The New York Times
My family moved out to Umstead Forest twenty-five years ago, and one of my clearest memories of moving in was the installation of the wood stove and the surrounding rock chimney. (I even remember a mouse running through the living room from the opening created by the unfinished chimney.) I was about five when we moved in, but in the coming years, my father would put me to good work, not so much splitting and chopping firewood, but certainly hauling firewood. Since we lived out between Umstead State Park and Schenck Forest, firewood was readily available on our property.
One memory I have is the aftermath of Hurricane Fran in 1996, which fell a large oak tree in our frontyard, destroying my father’s Jeep Cherokee. Due to all the carnage and power-outages, Wake County Public Schools canceled classes a full week. Generally, a high school freshman would rejoice such a windfall vacation from his studies, but we were without power and during the daylight hours my father put me to work collecting branches and then hauling firewood from the tremendous fallen oaks around our family’s house. Throughout high school and college I continued to move firewood in perpetuity — from the large woodpile by the dog-pin; the medium woodpile on the backside of the garage; the small woodpile on the pack deck; the tiny collection by the wood stove.
Winters at our house were blest with abundant and relatively free heat supplied by the many trees on our property. Somehow I miss the outside activity of moving wood. I have recently helped my father split would, and he often threatens to enlist my services still.
I hope to one day have a wood stove again, and enlist the hours of my future sons to move wood split from the felled trees of our future farm.