It's not about the house.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Fiddling Around

Well, we lit the fire.

Well… I lit the fire.

Johnny’d gone out to the pub before I talked to Dad – he needed to do a little commencing of his own and was fortunate enough to have gotten a phone call from a friend at just the right moment. So I was alone when Dad called bullshit and, although I don't recall his exact logic anymore, I do know that it all seemed reasonable to me. It helped, of course, that he said exactly what I hoped to hear.

Not to mention it was freaking cold. We’d shut the heat down (for reasons that are too long to get into), it had dropped to 50 degrees in here, and the heating system that we have takes two hours even to begin to warm the house. So after hanging up with Dad I sat on my icy hands staring at the empty fireplace for almost a full minute before lunging for the newspapers and sticks. I crumpled and piled and stacked and lit, and it was fine.

Johnny walked in the door about a minute and a half later and laughed when he saw it. Turns out a friend of his who knows about these things called bullshit too.

So in a matter of days we've come full circle – better, actually, because at least now our chimney’s clean. We went from blissful ignorance to confused panic, to informed panic, to resigned acceptance, to denial and finally back to ignorance – this time willful rather than blissful, but ignorance all the same. Never quite made it to acceptance. I do seem to have a problem with that one, don't I?

We decided we're going to put a woodstove in the fireplace, which will solve the sparks-in-the-chimney problem, and we're going to ignore the whole sparks-in-the-furnace-flue conundrum for the time being. Because – oh, some other time I'll tell you about how the furnace is dying too, so we're switching to gas. Someday. When we get around to it. Or when the furnace blows.

In the meantime, the heat's on and we're having fires. If the house burns down, the house burns down. I'll leave the cat carriers on the front porch just in case, and Johnny's instruments. So if a fire does happen, we'll have a fiddle handy.

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