So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Monday, September 23, 2013
Home is where the hearth is
Nothing like a fire in the woodstove on a cool wet September day.
Something was lost when central heating came into vogue. The hearth was were the family would gather. It provided physical warmth, true, but it also provided social warmth. Now everyone scatters into their own rooms and into their own electronic devices.
Not that I've got anything against our electronic miracles. I've set up my laptop in the kitchen with a nice view of the fire. Call it the best of both worlds, if you will.
My lovely wife and I had looked at a lot of kitchen woodstoves before deciding on this one. A big selling feature was the glass door looking into the firebox. It's a good compromise. We have the efficiency of an airtight woodstove, with the ambiance of open flame.
I've pretty much given up on central heat. Last winter we only burned 30 gallons of fuel oil. Almost all of our heat came from the kitchen stove. The kitchen was toasty warm. The rest of the downstairs stayed pretty comfortable. Our upstairs, with our bedroom and living room, was only about 55 degrees most of the time. That's good enough. Actually, I prefer it for sleeping.
It's pretty nice to have a big kettle of hot water on stove. We can have tea, or I have hot water ready for the stove top coffee peculator. If I want to make rice or pasta, the water is hot and ready to go. The oven is preheated at all times, ready for baking. The stove is always on.
My woodstove is old fashioned, but it isn't. Modern metallurgy and construction techniques went into its fabrication. Advancements in glass making guarantee a good safe see though door. Computer aided design assures efficient wood burning and even cooking.
Even so, it captures the essence of the old fashioned hearth: a place for warmth and gathering.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.