The heating season has begun in earnest. Today, about a week in, I tackled my first Challenge: the logs Fifille brought up were both too long to fit in the firebox.
Today, this morning, I had time to sit by the fire with my first pot of tea. I kindled the fire & let the log stick out of the door. When it was burned up enough, I shoved it in the rest of the way, as Gretel managed the witch.
I love the quotidian drama of starting & tending the fire. Every day is different, a new pyrotechnical puzzle to unravel. Some of them, like today, are satisfying & noteworthy. Fille & I are always excited by coals still burning in the morning's stove, as if we are survivalists who would otherwise have to resort to flint.
Mari & I have a lot of scrimmaging over how to start a fire. He takes his Scout training very seriously in this matter -- building a architecturally-notable structure of kindling, festooned with tinder, topped with split wood of the appropriate girth. He lights it, it goes right up, like fireworks.
I take more of a forest fire approach. I just strew pine needles & dried leaves on the few sheets of newspaper. On top I pile sticks & bark, and one log. I light it & it smolders for five or 10 minutes. I happen by a little & blow on it. Then it goes up like crazy.
He fusses, but honestly! If a fire were hard to start, Forest Service would not spend so much money on Smoky! Sometimes I say, while it's blazing away, "Omigod, is this fire not as hot as yours would have been?" Ahahaha! À demain.