Lots of rain today. It was a typical winter’s day in the Bay Area.
We had fog, rain, wind, and sun, with a sunset that was cold enough to make me think we might get frost tonight. This range of extremes is typical in the Bay Area in any season. It even snowed here once when I was five years old. So, tonight, taking my inspiration from thousands of pioneer women before me, I built a fire in our fireplace. We haven’t used it for the entire thirteen years we’ve lived in this house, because it needed a chimney cap. We coudn’t afford to fix it when we first bought the house, and then we had kids and felt it wasn’t safe for them to play around fire. Eventually, years passed. A decade. No fires. Ever. Not even on Christmas. Well, today, thirteen years later, we finally had the fireplace cleaned, inspected, and repaired. Good as new.
You might be wondering what was the impetus behind this repair. I mean, if you’ve lived without a fireplace for thirteen years, can’t you just keep living without it? You can, especially here in California, where we don’t know real cold.
But when my reluctant-reader seven-year-old asks repeatedly if “we can have a fire so we can sit in front of it and snuggle and read books”, I leap into action. He actually said he wanted to read. With me. I’d be a fool not to do this. I have to admit, I really liked it. And now I know how to build a fire, so I could probably live on the open range like my prairie predecessors. 🙂 Wait a minute. Who delivers a cord of wood to your front door when you live on the open range?
Ok. The flames look a little bit large here. Too much kindling, I think. It died down to a warm, glowing ember pretty soon after. We read from The Autobiography of Santa Claus.
‘Tis the season.