By Steve Carroll —
As the days get shorter and winter’s touch pervades the air I think about the coming season and the thought that this year there will be more time spent at home and few visits afield. My thoughts take me back to winters past and how often sitting by a cozy wood fire has brought much comfort and joy to my life.
Yes, there is something extra special about a wood fire that sets it apart from other heat sources like gas or electric, oil fired hot water, hot air or even in floor radiant heat with I particularly enjoy. As the old time Mainers would say “wood hearts ya three times, when you cut it when you split it and when you burn it.” Of course I think they might have skipped a few like when you haul it and when you stack it. In any event it certainly heats you many times and that heat has a way of tenderly warming your body & your soul.
Not only do I love the way a wood fire makes you feel, I love the smell. When you first walk into anyone’s home that burns wood, you are greeted by this glorious smell and you are even allowed the opportunity to bring a little charm home with you as it lingers on your clothes.
I am however painfully aware there are those that do not have the same appreciation for a wood fire. My wife is one, she doesn’t like the smell and all the dust & dirt that is all a part of burning wood. Well, in my mind it just goes with the territory.
There is another joy I have not mentioned and that is spending hours just watching the flames. Now tell me where else can you do this. In my youth I was a Boy Scout and my father loved to go camping. We spent every weekend trotting off to a different campground, to Northern Maine, Canada, and of course the White Mountains. Every evening we would sit around the camp fire, tell stories and enjoy a burnt hot dog or those luxurious s’mores. For many years I went on hunting and fishing trips to the North woods hunting lodges & cabins in the back country. Each evening we would gather round the fire and share stories. So many fond memories throughout the years, so many campfires, and so many hours spent by the fire.
How can I ever thank you for all you have given me over the years? I guess I cannot, so I will just throw another log on the fire, sit back in my easy chair, and enjoy your many gifts once again.