Fire up the stove

Man lighting wood stoveLast weekend, when it was -24 outside, we had friends overnight camping in Frontenac Park. Our friend Tom Rae has camped every month in the park for the past three years. We love Tom—he’s like our very own Survivorman. I’ve been on canoe trips with Tom and have seen him make bannock on a canoe paddle—his latest project was to make homemade moccasins.

On that bitter cold morning, I was thinking of “the boys” while driving downtown and hoping they made it through the night. They survived but Tom said it was the first time he couldn’t get warm, they got little sleep and packed up at dawn to head home.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love the cold and have actually really enjoyed this winter. Dave calls them “Thunder Bay” winters—bright, cold, clear days with not too much snow. But as much as I love spending the day outside playing shinny on the lake, doing a bit of ice fishing, skiing or hiking, when night falls, there’s no place I’d rather be than curled up in front of my wood stove with a glass of wine.

Who doesn’t love a fire and watching the flames dance and swirl, and the tingling feeling as the warmth seeps into your bones. I even love the sound of my wood stove—the low hum of the fan, the hissing and sputtering sounds it makes as the heat courses through the pipes, and the crackle of a log catching fire.

This week’s #HappyAct is to fire up the wood stove or fireplace and watch the flames flicker to life. And Tom and the boys—the offer still stands: any time you want to bail on the winter camping thing, you know where we are—I’ll have the wood stove fired up and cold beer in the fridge!

Two men winter camping in park
Dave and our friend Tom Rae camping in December in Frontenac Park

4 thoughts on “Fire up the stove

  1. For the record… was -29 that night!!!! And my ‘Survivor Man’ Tom went out there again last night with 2 fellows and their sons. Only -17, but windy. Waiting for him to come home and share his adventure tales. 🙂

  2. This gal has never been a lover of the cold, and I like it less with each year that passes. This year, however, has seemed like a welcome reprieve after the three-month deep freeze of early 2014. The only thing that got me warm last year, when I would get home frozen to the bone from those cold commutes, was standing in front of the woodstove, feeling the heat seep into me from core to extremities. Our woodstove isn’t just our main source of heat: it is our clothes dryer (and subsequently a humidifier) as well as often being my Sunday afternoon cooktop for soups, stews, chili, sauces and (my favourite) braised meats like pulled pork or shredded beef. I would never want to live without one. 🙂

    1. I’ve never tried cooking on mine, Katie, I think you’ve inspired me. It sounds like your wood stove has a warm place in your heart in so many ways. And I hope Tom and the boys made out OK again, Lorna!

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