Wood Fire Winters

Wood StoveSo here’s a fun little fact about living on Salt Spring Island, my beautiful home on the West Coast of our amazing Canadian country.

When my hubby and I started looking for a home last spring, we quickly realized that the primary method for heating homes here is wood. Wood stoves and fireplaces are very commonplace in most of the homes that I’ve been inside. Some homes also have baseboard heaters, too, but I’ve been warned by various people how hefty the heating bills for this are, so we try to stick to wood as much as we can.

As with everything in life, there are pros and cons to relying on a wood stove to keep your family warm. One of the drawbacks is that getting the heat going isn’t quite as easy as pushing a button or a lever on the thermostat – you actually need to get a fire started.

Now, fire-starting is not exactly my strong suit. Fortunately, my hubby does the best he can to get a good fire going every morning before he leaves for work. I believe flames may be allergic to me. There have been a few times where I’ve had to be the one to get the fire blazing and it was a quick and easy endeavour, but for the most part it takes a lot of paper, kindling and time. I’ll get there eventually… I hope.

Regardless of the added effort (and frustration), I love my wood stove. It heats the house up so quickly once it’s going, and it adds an extra special feeling to our home. A feeling of warm coziness. I can’t help but feel like grabbing a cup of tea and curling up by the fire. It reminds me of the many fond memories of camping with friends and family, and retreating to the family cabin.

Dear wood stove, you are both horrible and magical all at once, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

8 thoughts on “Wood Fire Winters

  1. Sara

    My parents have a wood stove as the primary use of heat in their home in Haliburton, ON. It is an awfully cozy way to get warm. What do you do about keeping your little one away from the fireplace? It’s something I’m always worried about when we visit.

    1. Hannah Post author

      Ha. This was a bit of a back-and-forth thought process for what to do about keeping baby safe. We had a lot of people suggest that it wasn’t necessary to put any barriers up. “It’ll only take once” for her to learn that it’s hot and she doesn’t want to touch it. Yup, it only took once – a very small burn on her finger – for us to realize that there was NO WAY we ever wanted to risk that again.
      We ordered a child-fence off amazon. It works really well. Other friends have positioned furniture around the fireplace to keep it out of reach (coffee table in front, etc.)

        1. Hannah Post author

          Gosh. I knew having kids would add a bit of nervousness to my life, but I really didn’t understand how much. My heart is stopped multiple times a day. I swear I have aged at least 10 years over the last 12 months.

  2. Kate Schat

    Brett and I were chatting about how much we love the rhythm and seasonality of waking up in a chilly house, coaxing a fire, letting your skin soak in the the light of the flickering flames as it gets going. Electric heat and the house being the same temperature all the time feels artificial. It’s so wet cold here that without wood heat I never get warm!! Marius is the fire master. Seriously. I do good. But he doesn’t use paper to start. Like kuh-mon man.

    1. Hannah Post author

      Say Whaaaaat?! No paper??
      I realized today that it makes a world of difference for me if I stock that baby chalk full (what does chalk full even refer to, I now wonder…) of newspaper. One try, done. FINALLY!!!


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