home toasty home

Part of what I love about going home to Nebraska is my parents. And part of it is the house. I love that house. We built it when I was a freshman in high school, so I didn’t spend many years living there. But it is very nearly the perfect house.

When I was home for our short Christmas visit, I was again reminded of why I love being there so much. One huge reason: the fireplace.

It’s a real fireplace. Sooty and dusty and smoky and divine. Back when I was in school, I only came home two or three times a year, and I was able to come for longer visits. And every day, after making my coffee, I made a fire. And then I tended it all day, and by the time my parents came home from work, the house was absolutely toasty.

Every year, my dad has to buy a new grate, because the fires burn so hot that they melt the grate. He buys the firewood by the truckload from a local guy. He calls him “my wood guy.” As in, when the pile gets low, he just calls “his wood guy” and another truckload appears.

Just talking about it makes me smile. I love to sit on the hearth until it’s so hot I can’t stand it anymore, then I sink into the sofa and let the heat soak into my back.

Needless to say, this house has ruined me for future houses. I don’t just want a wood-burning fireplace. I need one. A finished basement isn’t just a perk, it is essential.

More on this tomorrow.


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