Fireside Living in Cold New England

Last night we made a fire. We used kindling we gathered out in the woods. We set a big birch log on the flames and the highly flammable white bark took off and ignited the huge piece; watching the fire made the winter chill just melt away.

There is much loveliness in drawing up close to a fire. You’d never get this in a warm place like Miami, or in LA, but here in cold New England, our fires keep the cold away, make the winter cozy and bright, and there is nothing like the smell of the wood smoke and the dancing, ever-changing flames to make a night complete and sleep come easy.

Rules of the Fire

Let no man mess with another man’s fiddling. You can fiddle as you like and no one can interfere.

You need a lot of paper to get a really good fire going. Skimping on the crumpled up newspaper is never a good idea, even when you are in a hurry ‘cause it is really cold.

Trying to use newspaper ad circulars and Time Magazine doesn’t work. Even though the glossy paper gives off cool colors, it won’t start the fire for you.

Using birch logs guarantees a merry and bright blaze. It is that white bark that burns like it is coated with gasoline. Amazing!

No matter how much more convenient they are, gas fireplaces still can’t hold a candle to a good old fashioned wood burner, with the smells, the smoke and the ever changing view and all of the fiddling you need to do to keep it alive.