The weather yesterday reminded us that winter is not quite finished. Though we got a lot more rain that snow, it was plenty cold, especially compared to the unseasonably warm days that preceded. But, we were snug inside with our woodstove. If you’ve never had a woodstove, you’re missing out on a lot of perks.
For one thing, it gets warm! Like, real warm. Much more than a fireplace, the woodstove radiates heat. I can get it going so hot on the coldest days that I can sit around in shirtsleeves. For a perpetually cold person, this is a luxury.
It’s free. Especially since a neighbor brought us a couple of trees already in pieces. But even so, there is enough wood on our place to fuel our fires pretty much forever.
It smells nice. Oak, walnut, and other local trees are mildly scented, and the occasional hickory or cedar give that warm, holiday smell. It creates a cozy, crackling ambiance, especially in the evenings, when we open books or play games.
Having a stove hot all day is wonderful for warming all kinds of things on its top. I can warm the plates, which come out of the cupboard icy cold most days. A kettle can stay there all day, so I have hot water immediately at the ready. (Even when we get running water, hot water is going to be work!) We like our coffee boiled, not dripped, and the enamelware pot can go right on top of the woodstove, so the coffee stays hot until it’s all drunk. Another thing that can sit there all day is beans. Dry beans can be soaked in a soup pan, and by evening they are ready to eat. Although I know from experience that, even at the temperature I like it, it is not quite hot enough to boil potatoes or pop popcorn.
A warning, though: it does get hot enough to melt synthetic fabrics. Like fuzzy socks, for example.