house highlight: the fireplace

It’s no secret that I love wood-burning fireplaces. My parents have one and it has always been one of my favorite things about their house. So when we started looking at houses, a fireplace was on the list.

Iowa gets cold in the winter–below zero, with dangerous wind chills and a long, long winter season. But we quickly discovered that very few houses in our area (or our price range) had wood-burning fireplaces. We found a few gas fireplaces but we really wanted that amazing wood-burning feel. If you’ve never had a real fire, you’re missing out. The smell and sound of wood burning is cozy and intimate and welcoming. So we held out.

Our little house didn’t hit all of the points on our must-have list, but it does have a glorious wood-burning fireplace. It was pristine when we moved in, so I don’t think the prior owners used it much, if ever. We were determined to change that. We started out with a few bundles of firewood from Lowe’s and we fell in love.
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The week after Thanksgiving, we had half a trailer of wood delivered. All stacked, it seemed like a lot of wood.
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But then we started making fires. And we couldn’t stop.

The kitties all love to snooze in front of the fire, but Genevieve is especially fond of the fire. She will literally sit on the hearth facing the fire, making me fear for her life. But she’s so blissed out I can’t bear to move her. I can relate. I’ve spent hours on the couch soaking up the crackling warmth.
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We have had a fire every single weekend since the wood arrived, and, as a result, we’ve plowed through our pile. This weekend, we were shocked to discover that we literally burned through a huge pile of wood in six short weeks. I’m not sure how we did it, but on Sunday, we were forced to face the truth:  this, my friends, is the last piece of wood from our giant pile.
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Luckily, I just called Firewood Mike and he’s delivering another load tomorrow night. We’ve already promised each other that we will limit ourselves, and when this batch is gone, we’re done for the winter.
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And next fall, we’ll know to buy the full trailer load from the get-go. I just hope that will be enough to get us through another long Iowa winter.

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5 thoughts on “house highlight: the fireplace

  1. Genevieve is so gorgeous! I love wood fires too. Unfortunately the fireplace in my 110-year-old house became unsafe to use; the chimney was never capped and water leaked in and dissolved the mortar between the bricks. I hope some day I’ll be able to repair it and bask again in the crackling warmth.

    • That stinks. I think we are both a little surprised at how often we use it. I imagine your lovely home has loads of character to offset the non-functional fireplace 🙂

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