How to Keep Warm!

On my daily early morning walk with Sydney my neighbor (the only one I know and the only one here year round as best I can tell) asked me if I had my wood delivered yet. Uh oh! “Should I have?” I asked. He responded that it depended on how much I wanted to pay for electricity this winter! Now I was getting nervous. “It’s probably too late,” he said, “but here’s the name of the people who will deliver small loads, 1-2 cords.” I hurried home and called but they were busy with clean-up from Hurricane Sandy. Andrea, from Homer’s Construction, gave me the name of the Carrachilo brothers, Jim and John, and said that they might deliver although they didn’t like to have to stop at the gate. Not sure why and this doesn’t have anything to do with the story except that it does say something about the culture up here of not worrying about getting more business.

As you can see from the photo, Jim and John did deliver — a generous cord. “We’re expensive,” said Jim, “but the wood is very good, virtually bug free, and cut to your specifications.” I paid them an extra $75 to stack the wood (well worth it), and listened while they told me how easy it is to light a fire! The brothers were very nice, said they were available for any odd jobs or giving advice (?), and talked for longer than they stacked wood. Very accommodating and pleasant, I felt like Pioneer Woman and looked with satisfaction upon the wood I have right here at the back door.

It occurred to me after the wood delivery that I had never lit a fire in my life except to use Duraflame logs which only need a match and then pouring a drink. So, I googled “How to Light a Fire.” A video seemed like a good idea, so I watched as some soft-spoken man lit a fire with two logs, a bit of kindling, and of course the fire started right away. Then he said, “Now add a log and sit back and enjoy your fire.” Sounds easy enough. I did exactly that and for a moment I had a fire, which promptly went out upon receiving the log that was supposed to allow me to enjoy my fire all evening. Not to be deterred, the next morning, I cleaned out the fireplace, repositioned the grate, and set a fire for that evening. Before you ask, yes, the firewood was dry and I had it inside for at least 24 hours to make sure. Again, I followed directions except this time I asked my friend, Robin, who is an expert at making fires. She said, try using some newspaper, so I did that as well. Again, I had a fire for a few minutes and, when I went to put a larger log on, it promptly went out.

Taking advantage of any and all avenues, I put out the call on Facebook. Libby said that she was very good at starting fires by leaving pot holders close to the stove top. Ashby submitted my favorite suggestion — use kerosene. Scary! This shouldn’t be all that difficult — after all, didn’t cavemen light fires? And they didn’t have long matches and wood cut to size! I’m ready for winter, ready to save money on my electric bill, but can anyone tell me how to make a fire??

One reply

  1. Roxanne says:

    Pat, I am also horrible at lighting fires. My only thought is you are putting out the fire by placing the final log on top. You may want to fan the flames to increase oxygen and then wait to add the final log. But again, I typically watch others as they do this.