Category Archives: fireplace


sitting on the floor
a few feet from
new bright flames

    tiny orange fireworks


dancing light

we read;
dogs sprawl nearby;
cats drape the furniture.

this is what it is to be

the hole in the wall

I love our new wood-burning fireplace. It is infinitely better than the ventless gas fireplace it replaced, and we’ve had a fire going just about constantly since it was installed last Thursday. Currently it’s gray and drizzly outside, but in the living room, the flames flicker and sparks crackle.

Getting to this point was a little surreal. Imagine a dentist is drilling inside your mouth: The sound and the vibration feel as though they’re taking over your body and soul, right? Well, that’s how the whole house felt when the Fireplace Guys began using whatever large, powerful tools pulled back the siding of my house so they could remove the old box. The incredibly loud grinding went on interminably. A while after it stopped, I ventured into the living room and was greeted by the extremely strange sight of a hole in my house.

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Just did something I’ve never done before: deleted a post. I wrote it early this morning when I was 1) really, really tired and 2) cranky from being tired and 3) even more cranky because I knew I’d have no chance for any sleep for a long time and I had to drive home from rural Kentucky. When I reread it, I didn’t want to have written it; so it’s gone.

I’m still really, really tired. But now I’m home, and there’s a fire in the new fireplace, and life is good.

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.