What Does “Romantic” Mean?

Ah, the fire.  The warmth.  The light.  Somehow the food tastes different when cooked on the wood cook stove.  There’s a slight crackle.  Instead of the normal 57 degrees in the house, we have one room that’s 90.  There’s always hot water.  You come in from outside and park your tookus next to the stove and you are instantly warmed up.  It’s the fulfillment of some romantic dream of hers.  Best thing ever.

Well.  Sort of.

Sopka Magnum Wood Cook Stove

The crackle, the smell, the warmth all come at a cost.  My time.  You see, my lovely bride loves the wood cook stove.  To her it’s just a matter of splitting some kindling, lighting a fire and keeping it fed.  Works well enough.  But from my perspective it’s hours with the chainsaw then hauling, splitting, stacking, restacking when it falls over, etc.  My days off.  My weekends.  Every trip out in the woods I’m looking for a standing dead tree or a snag to cut down.  What will I do when the woods are clean?  Where can I start growing the forest I’ll need over the coming years?  Should I burn that log or should I run it through the sawmill?  Oh, the stress!  Oh, my leg!  Oh the guilt! (Anybody get that reference?)

Why are we burning wood when it’s barely getting to freezing at night?  I think the word “romantic” is French for “because she wants to”.  Why isn’t it romantic to sit under a pile of blankets reading a book?  Oh well.  The kids are a big help and do most of the stacking and carrying.  My oldest helped split this time too.

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