Winter is long and grueling, in its way. But in its way it is also the coziest season. It is the best time of year for laying in bed under the weight of six blankets, for drinking tea and mulled wine, for the crackle of fires, for reading six books at once.
I have wanted a glass-fronted wood stove for a long time. Once upon a time in Mainz we had traded wood stoves with a friend who had a huge stove but only needed to heat a small space. We had a tiny stove and needed to heat a larger space. So we used the big wood stove and he the small. But before we moved we traded back. It would have been fine, but. Then there was this offer to buy a wood stove with a glass door from our friend. I was all “hells yeah!” and after a little convincing, the Beard was too.
Cod, isn’t it beautiful? I can see that from my bed.
It is an Italian brand, Nordica, and they make all sorts of wood stoves that sort of look like flat screen tvs with names like Plasma and Fireball. According to the friend who sold it to us (never used) you can get all sorts of awesome wood stoves cheap at Italian building supply stores.
At first we were uncertain about how it would work. With the kind of wood stove we had before, that most of the folks we know have, you have two doors. One opens on the burning chamber, so you can put wood in. Another, lower, smaller door, opens on the ash tray and the bottom bit of the burning chamber. It means you can light all the paper you’ve stuff in under your kindling from the bottom, which is nice. If you were to leave the upper door open it would smoke you out of the house. You could also open the bottom door to get an extra stream of air running through, which makes for a livelier fire when things are starting to slow down.
The new wood stove just has one door, the big glass door. Well, that’s not true. It has a lower door as well, but it only opens onto the ash tray, and you can’t get at the bottom of the burning chamber to light the paper from below or poke a dying fire with a stick. Maybe it would smoke a lot, every time we fed the fire? Maybe it would be a big pain in the ass? Maybe the glass door would be black in a minute flat? Nope, it was awesome. Is awesome.
You do have to clean the glass regularly though, if you want to keep enjoying the view (about every four days and water doesn’t cut it). It is like a little nightlight, flickering pleasantly, then fading to a low, deep glow throughout the night. We have practically stopped watching tv (though this has a lot to do with Baby Pickles) and now we have the fire. Remember when I went on about how fires are the original television? Still think that.