Heating with wood can be a family affair, teach kids responsibility and an exercise in job security. I’ve heated our home and my businesses using wood as the heat source for over forty years. Our kids helped during the summer to collect the wood, and when they were old enough, fall it if necessary, buck it up, put it in the wood shed and, after it was dry in the fall, we made a family affair out of splitting, stacking and making kindling.
Kids need mentors and apprenticeships to gain and understand their responsibilities in life. Doing their part to help keep their family warm is easy to relate to and understand for even the youngest child. Responsibility and pride in their accomplishments are important factors in a child’s growth.
Once it turns cold, job security becomes part of the heating with wood equation; you always have something to do. You bring your cut, split and seasoned harvest in from the wood shed, get up various times during the evening to replenish the stove’s supply, bank it before retiring and get out of bed to stoke the fire on really cold nights. When you have a good bed of coals in the morning, you don’t have to crumple paper, stack kindling and then coax the bigger pieces into flames from scratch.
I love heating with wood. The entire process keeps me active, limber and strong. After all the heavy work is done, stoking the fire requires me to get up and move around. Things go missing when all you have to do is dial a thermostat. One of those missing things is a bill from the heating oil distributor or power company. And, I can’t imagine any way to turn oil or power bills into a family outing in the woods.
The feel of wood heat is more comfortable and not the same as other sources. A wood fire can warm the soul and heat the body to the core. The crackling of a fire is good company on a cold night. If the lights are low, or turned off, shadows dance about the room the same as they do on trees in the forest or walls in a cave. For most of us, looking into a glowing, dancing fire conjures up primeval thoughts and feelings. Family, personal responsibility and the need for a feeling of accomplishment are all in our genes from times past. Heating with wood can bring them to the forefront of our mind; if we listen to our inner voice.