I took the dog out a few minutes ago and smelled the heavenly scent of wood smoke drifting from my neighbor’s place. I grew up with wood heat. Both sets of grandparents had a grate. A wood fire said “home” to me then as much as coming home after dark to find the back porch light on and smelling the country supper cooking in the kitchen. We sold firewood for our living in the winter, so I often smelled it when I went with Dad on deliveries, too. It was always a pleasant sight to see the smoke curling from the chimney after a cold day of working outside. It meant warmth, food and being re-united with the people that I cared about.
It meant the same to me when I had my own home. Sadly, I let some “expert” (scammer) chimney sweeps clean my chimney once and they ruined it, later causing a chimney fire that necessitated tearing the top half of the chimney down. Foolishly, I caved into my wife’s wishes to switch to gas heat. She complains just as much about being cold these days as she did then. The main difference is that I now pay a fortune to heat this place some months. I miss not having a gas bill. I miss being able to hover around the stove when coming in from the cold. I miss seeing the smoke curling from my chimney when I return from going somewhere else. I miss the scent of good oak wood, or the crisp smell of burning pine. My wife says she doesn’t miss the extra dust, and I understand that. But I still miss heating with wood, if not all the work involved. And I still miss that wood smoke. © 2014