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Monday, February 20, 2017

Old Fashion Fireplace

Old Fashion Fireplace
Rick at Life 101 http://www.rickwatson-writer.com/ posted about his blind dog loving a fireplace.  This kicked off some un-cranky memories.  Rick’s posts do that a lot.
The Cranky’s current abode is a townhouse.  We have a wood burning fireplace in the living room, and a fake fireplace that runs on gas in our basement.  Our basement can get a chill, so I use the gas fireplace a lot.  It looks like a wood burning fireplace, it puts off a lot of warmth, but it does not smell like the good old wood burning fireplaces.
I’ve only used the real fireplace in the living room once.  We just don’t use that room, it does not have a TV and Mrs. C does not share my fondness for the real thing.  Also, we don’t have much of a yard for stacking logs.
I’ve always had a wood burning fireplace where I’ve lived.  I do miss using the real thing.  Yes, they are a lot of work, but that is part of what I miss.  I miss stacking fire wood after it is dropped off by a dealer.  There is nothing like several cords of wood neatly stacked along the entire back of your yard.  It just makes it like you are prepared for all that the Winter can throw at you.  There is something rewarding about  stacking wood.
It is nice to just flip a switch and watch a gas flame flare against some ceramic logs, but it is not rewarding.  I enjoyed crumpling up newspaper, then covering the paper with kindling and finally a log or three.  Then you light some paper and hold it up in the chimney until you are sure the smoke will draw properly. 
Lighting the paper, watching the kindling catch and then the logs, a small bellows helped fan the flames…the whole process was just take-you-back-to-the-old-days rewarding.  Then there was the smell.  I loved the smell of a fireplace fire, especially if you were working with good slow burning maple, oak or fruit wood logs.
Finally, there is the process of tending to the fire.  You have to poke it from time to time, turn it, and add logs as needed.  Often that meant a trip to the wood pile at night in the cold and through the snow.  That sounds like a chore, but it made you feel like a pioneer, like you were doing something to protect and keep your family warm.
I like modern conveniences.  I don’t miss washing dishes by hand.  I’ll a save time by popping corn in a microwave.  I prefer the K-cup coffee makers.  I won’t give up the automatic transmission in my car.
I do miss the ritual, the process and the ambiance of a good old wood burning fireplace.

21 comments:

  1. I hear ya! We don't have a real fireplace in the house, just electric ones. My mom's house had a real fireplace, though.

    When I lived there, I rarely had to start the fire, but I loved poking it, and putting more wood on. We kept a small pile stacked outside the back door. The big woodpile was stacked along the back of the garage. My cousin delivered us a truckload a couple times a winter. I stacked my share.

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  2. I remember the mess of cleaning out the ashes and not being able to sit too close in case a spark caught our clothes, but I was young and didn't have any of the work involved like cutting and stacking wood etc. In later years we had a wood burning combustion heater, that was great. We'd load it with a large mallee stump, which would burn away very slowly, so the room would be warm for dressing in the winter, and coming home after work there'd be a kettle at the back of the stove with hot water ready for coffee. We'd cook soups and stews on it too, put the pot on the stove by mid morning and the food would be ready by dinner time.

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  3. We had an "old fashioned" fireplace when we lived in Oregon. We did get the cords of wood to stack for the winter. I sat right in front of the fireplace (grill closed) and soaked in the heat. In Montana we had some problems with the fireplace and never used it. In fact boarded it over since yellow jackets found a way in it through the chimney. Now we have a fireplace (like we need it in Phoenix) but haven't ventured to use it yet. There is something to be said indeed to smell the smell of a wood burning one!

    betty

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  4. All through reading this I remembered the smell of fire logs before and after burning, and then you mentioned it. I wish I had a wood fire place again even though it was fire that sent me to hospital. I would readily go back to it if I could. The fire, that is, not the accident.

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  5. Obviously I was never a boy scout/camper in any of my previous lives because I absolutely cannot start a fire in a fireplace. (You wanna talk stove tops, that's a different story.)

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  6. I could swear that I left you a comment.

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  7. You missed the part about cleaning it. I saw the point of a wood fire in the stove in our studio; there was no other heat and it's cold in Ohio in winter. I never saw the point of a fire in the living room fire place in a home heated adequately by a gas furnace. All that happened was people retreated to the room's edges to avoid the extra heat; gas heat I paid for went up the chimney, and there was that disgusting mess to clean up the next day. It is not easy to keep wood ashes contained.

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    1. Just one more thing in life that some people find enjoyable that isn't always practical, kind of like doughnuts and golf.

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  8. Last wood burning fireplace I had was in Florida of all places. Often had to turn on the A/C to use it but I miss it today. I would love a gas one now that I old but the thing I would miss would be the sound and the tending. Enjoy yours Cranky.

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  9. You don't see many wood burning anything in California. We are regulated and then regulated some more. I too enjoyed a good fire. I too remember getting up in the middle of the night to stoke the fire. Fond memories.

    Have a fabulous day, Joe. ☺

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  10. We had one for 22 years at our last house. I hated the smell, which lingered for days. Don't miss it one bit, but I understand how others enjoy!

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  11. We have a wood burning stove that we can't get cleaned by anyone, so we can't use it. Down in the swamps, we wouldn't need it much anyway.

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  12. We have rarely had a fireplace, either wood or gas. 'Course we live in Arizona.

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  13. As you might recall our fireplace is holographic. It looks absolutely real and even provides heat. I never want to go back to chopping wood.

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  14. I grew up in a house that was all wood heat. Heating water, heating the house, and cooking was all done with wood. I learned how to cook on a wood-burning stove. The only time my mother used a small propane oven was for baking cakes and cookies. Fond memories, but I wouldn't want to deal with that now.

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  15. We loved our wood stove until it got to be too much work and mess. I was able to drop, cut, and split all of our firewood myself. Those were the days ...... the pellet burner is just not the same, but it's much easier and far less mess.

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  16. One day I hope to have a fireplace. Any fireplace will do. They're just so cozy.

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  17. In general I will say that I absolutely agree with everything you've written. There really is nothing like the whole experience from stacking to stoking but Idaho was on fire all summer and that smell was so overpowering every day for weeks on end.. I've taken a break from anything wood burning related. :)

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  18. We do not have a fireplace in this house. I've always had a fireplace so I get where you are coming from. The husband wants to get a wood stove, but they get so dusty. Frankly I'd be fine with a gas one, only because we're getting older and don't know how much more time do we have, to stoke the fire and pile wood?

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