Many of you know that I heat solely with wood and that I live in the mountains of northern New Mexico at 8500 feet. In winters past I’ll admit I semi-dreaded the season’s arrival because it means extra chores: staying on top of the wood (being certain I’m not running low)—keeping it dry, filling the inside bins and just building and stoking the fires each day. But this winter, because we had so little snow last year and a very dry summer because of it, I am looking forward to winter and am hoping for LOTS and LOTS of snow.
Even so, I always put off making the first fire of the season until it’s cold enough that layers of wool no longer keep me warm and I simply must start a fire. This year was no exception. I think I do it in part because, like my mother told me as a teenager wanting to shave my legs for the first time, once you start you have to keep doing it—and I feel an abiding respect for the resources of my fires—trees. I want to use only what I really need. So I bundle up against the chill and drink tea and hot chocolate.
But today I had to finally give in. It’s been gray and wet for three days, and without the solar gain of the sun, my house has become cold (wet cold is so much chillier than dry cold—have any of you noticed that?). Even the animals looked uncomfortable.
So it was definitely time to start the first fire of the season. And, of course, at the END of the LAST fire season, I’d put off doing my least favorite chore: dumping the ashes from the ash bucket. So I had to face doing that now. That’s when I had the epiphany that if I took you all with me I could make these chores creative and fun instead of a drudge. And you know what? It worked!
Then I needed to clean out the ashes from last season (another least favorite chore), but Big Girl was there to help.
And then I could lay the fire. I LOVE my wood stove! It is so easy to light and it keeps both floors of my house snug and warm.
Skye was the first of the animals to realize we had fire. Ever since rescuing her as a starving pup running lost in the snow (see previous post Night Skye) she has relished warmth, unlike Kelee who loves nothing more than to roll around in the snow. Go Figure. (see previous post A Three Legged Man of the West). Then came Bubs, also a sucker for a fire (see previous post Bubby’s Grand Adventure Outdoors), closely followed by Finn and Tobey (see previous post Rescue Dog: Meet Finn (Survivor)).
We all settled into a luxurious day enjoying the beauty of the much needed rain outside while cozy, snug and warm inside. And then it began to snow!
Love to you all,