light my fire a guy from the wonderfully named company Grate Balls Afire is coming to give us an estimate on replacing our worthless, awful, smelly, entirely unsatisfactory ventless gas fireplace with a gen-oo-ine wood-burning model.

I grew up with a dad who pretty much always had a fire burning. All winter, a fire blazed in the fireplace. All summer (or any time it was warm enough for him to sit outside), he had a fire going in the outdoor stone-lined pit that he built himself. (When my parents put in a deck, it had to be designed around the fire pit.) As a result, it’s in my genes to want to build fires, poke at fires with sticks, and pile wood artistically to make the best flames.

Now, on winter evenings, when I’m sitting in the living room, I long for the warmth and crackle of a real fire. We thought the gas fire would suffice when we built the house, but instead it has failed in every way.

Unfortunately, the gas fireplace is an odd (small) size, so replacing it will probably entail tearing down the bricks of the surrounding walls and mantel and/or cutting a whole in the siding of the house. But it’s OK. After 10 years, it’s time for the real thing.

5 responses to “light my fire

  1. I haven’t used my fireplace ever because it needs an insert due to the fact that the bricks are all bad. Though I’d love a fire I don’t think I can trust my family enough to care for it and its surroundings properly. I’m such a worry wort I’d probably never get any sleep wondering about the house catching fire.

    My daughter did buy one of those outdoor fire pits and she loves it. It resides at her boyfriend’s mother’s house at the moment, but I may ask to borrow it. She can’t use it at the dorm, that’s for sure.

  2. Sounds great! Hope it brings you much joy!

  3. Good news: They’re coming next week to install the new fireplace! We’re excited at the change. I’m hopeful that the installation, which will involve making a rather large hole in the side of the house in the middle of winter, will go smoothly.

  4. i’d love to have one.

  5. Sackcloth And Ashes

    Sackcloth and Ashes have the finest selection of fireplaces,gas fires, stoves etc. in marble,stone,granite, wood and cast iron..Styles may change but our passion and commitment to providing the very finest wont.

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