I’m a bit of a city mouse, due mostly to a need to remain close to everything practical.? But my heart strings are still connected to a simpler life, where people grow their own vegetables and make their own jams and jellies and light fires for warmth.? I’m realistic enough to know that growing my own food is probably not a good idea (most greenery around here eventually ends up in houseplant heaven).? But the fire thing… that’s my weakness.? Ever since I was a kid we’ve had a pot belly stove or fireplace wherever I’ve lived.? So when I bought my house, it was just a matter of time before the draft-sucking hole in the living room wall became filled with heat.
Two years ago, when I finally fixed all the major major house repairs, I decided it was time.? I did my research (e.g. called the Amish Guy) and found out that the coolest thing around (and apparently the only one that would work with my chimney) is a pellet stove.? Blah blah blah, 95% efficient, runs on compressed sawdust pellets (or cherry pits, but who eats that many cherries??), and even has a programmable thermostat.
So, let me get this straight.? I never have to chop wood, it looks/ smells/ feels/ is a real fire, and I never have to chop wood??? And this new technology comes with the highest recommendations of the Amish Guy.*
AND, get this — it came with a surprise three tons of wood pellets, free!
I’ll let you digest that for a moment.
surprise.? three.? tons.? Now use them in a sentence.
See up until then, I had no real concept of what a ton was.? I mean I know how much, as in numbers on paper, and have used idioms like “I have a ton of laundry to do”, but this was clearly different.
Especially when “free” means they don’t have to go through the formalities of say… calling ahead.**? When I arrived home to find my little house sandbagged like a World War II barricade, I learned exactly what a “ton” was.? and for the next two years as I slowly burned through it bag by bag, til the last one ran out with the most perfect of timing as the ground was thawing this spring.
Come October I had to bite the bullet, say goodbye to my little backyard, and order more.? Now I don’t mind spending the money, because it is way cheaper (and warmer) than a furnace, not to mention the intangible benefit of lying in a heat-induced coma in a comfy chair.? But it is a little bit like paying your entire winter gas bill at once… for the privilege of having your landscaping akin to a war zone.? Still, a small price to pay for heat.
I made sure I was home this time, and got to experience the strange, wonderful blend of cultures that made it all possible.? One Amish Guy to stack dozens of bags, one Puerto Rican Guy to drive the truck and make happy small talk, and one Orthodox Jewish neighbor to peek over the hedges and make sure whatever crazy thing we were doing that night was kosher — or at least not in his yard.? (I also learned that Amish Guys do in fact drive, whether they should or not, when they get get tired of Puerto Rican guys chatting.? And watching them drive a semi-sized trailor in reverse up your little driveway at warp speed is quite an experience.)
……………………………………..with love and warmth,? C.
* enjoy the irony
** Nevermind that Amish Guys don’t have cell phones.