The old wood burning furnace

I grew up not knowing what arctic weather was like.

  • Sure I had seen it on TV and knew what it looked like, but I literally could not conceive of that level of cold.

I lived in a place where we wore shorts and flip flops from January through December. Now I live in a place where shorts and flip flops don’t exist. This is the far north, rough and rugged tundra that separates the men from the boys! I really don’t miss the old days, even though the harsh arctic climate is difficult to deal with sometimes. Air conditioners do not exist up here, because there are only a few weeks a year that rise into the 60s or sometimes even the 70s on a particularly hot summer. On the other hand, heating is serious business, and you not only need to have it, you also need to know how to fix it when it breaks. Your nearest neighbor may only be a half mile away, but in the snow depths brought on by winter it might as well be ten miles, so you need to be able to keep your furnace running by yourself. I have a mighty wrought iron stove and furnace in the middle of my main room. It is a wood burning furnace, and for generations it was the only source of heat for the place, I have been told. It still works as well as ever, but it is a hassle to keep feeding it wood, so I use my space heaters most of the time.

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