A cold but cozy first night.

Several years ago I realized that my wood stove was becoming dysfunctional in a couple of important ways. I thought that I should probably change to having a gas fireplace insert, now that I am older and my back is not as strong as it used to be, for carrying the firewood and bending over the stove to build and tend the fire.

I also thought, mistakenly, that I was not allowed to install a new wood-burning insert in our area. When I learned that it was only for new construction that the building code forbids them, I was elated.

And during that time my housemate Susan began to carry wood and build fires, too. Many times when I came home from a trip or just a late-afternoon outing in the winter, I walked into a house that had been all cozied up by her ministrations. These various factors persuaded me to buy a new wood stove, with the help of my son who shopped all over town with me.

I’ve been enjoying the fires very much this past winter, and my back has been up to the work involved, because I’ve been doing my “strengthening exercises.” (Isn’t that what Tigger also does?) The recent rains came with milder weather overall, and I haven’t had a fire for a week — until this cold, cold evening of the beginning of spring, when my feet would not get warm. It was late before I got on task, but now the logs are blazing and my toes are toasty.

The new stove

For the last two months, though, I have been the only wood-carrier-fire-builder around the place, because my last housemate has moved out, and I am living alone for the first time since the summer just after my husband died. God brought me three housemates during those years, and they were all wonderful people to have around. For awhile there were three of us women living here. But now it seems it has been given me to live alone (with God) in my house, which has been more of an adjustment psychologically than I expected. I got through the transition and I am loving it.

Happy Spring!

13 thoughts on “A cold but cozy first night.

  1. One of the reasons Rick and I don’t get married (after 30 years!) is that we both like living alone. We’re together frequently — often dining, weekends for sure and during the week; we see each other and spend time together almost every day. But he can retreat to his space for his two hours of guitar practice (want to be driven nuts? Listen to scales repeated over and over!). I can read or paint in my own space and not have to worry about how it’s spread out. But I’m an only child and have lived independently since I was 25 after my final roommate and I decided to move on. I’m glad you are finding that part of yourself and I am sure it has been a huge adjustment in many ways. But knowing one’s self independently is a great gift and a discovery. (Love the fires!)

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  2. Wood fires are so very cozy. We have gas fireplaces, but one of daughters has a wood burning unit and I always love standing with my back to the warmth when I visit her. Living alone would take some time to adjust to, and I’m glad that you are finding peace with it.

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  3. Everyone loves a fire. It’s always a sure sign of our ‘winter’ coming when the grocery stores begin stocking bundles of wood by their front doors. It’s usually $12 or so for eight 16″ sticks. What a deal!

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  4. i’ve lived alone now for three years and this year was the first year that I absolutely glory in it! I don’t want to have a partner! Even thinking of it makes me cringe. And I have had an offer of marriage… Can’t see that happening with me, I love being alone with the Lord. I’m glad you’re finding it nice also. I even talk to myself… And sing and dance it’s fun!


    Sent from my iPhone

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  5. We also have a wood burning stove and although I still haven’t mastered making a fire, I’m working on it. It’s an inexpensive way to warm up your home! We have a 2 room house currently and only use it for heat. I agree with you in that I think I’d have quite a transition living alone.

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  6. The picture of the wood fire in your new stove brought back so many happy memories of over 30 years with a wood stove in our house. It was a gathering spot for everyone in cold weather and where our children went to, wrapped in a towel, after their baths. Also a lifesaver when the power was out, once for 6 days, and the top was so useful for keeping all the baking dishes warm on Thanksgiving Day. But then when I remember that our wood stackers and fetchers were three sons I remember why we stopped using it when they all left home. How nice that you found out you were still allowed to have one! I didn’t realize you had had house mates these past years after you lost your husband. I’ve wondered myself if I could do that if the need arose. But then the idea of two women in one kitchen gave me pause imagining. I think I would be okay with that but then again since I don’t drive anymore it might cause me to become a hermit. I have a fault of trying to plan every option ahead of time but have come to realize that some things have to be left to the future, as my husband prefers to do. You are such an active woman and involved so much with your church group and community that I can see you continuing to live as active a life on your own as you did before so thoroughly enjoy your house all to yourself–except for when your lovely family visits!

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