Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sentimental Sunday, The Hero and the Wood Burning Stove.

Sitting here in Idaho with icicles hanging on the front porch 3' long and negative digit temperatures, reminded me of a story about the Hero and his adventure with the wood burning stove in our cabin when we first moved to the farm.  I always was amazed at his stamina.  He would wake up in the middle of the night stir the fire and if needed add firewood to keep the family warm through the winter.  This one night of drizzly wet windy cold, he discovered he had forgotten to bring in more firewood.  Shivering he donned his boots, threw on a robe, and ran to the wood pile grabbed some wood and ran back in to refresh the fire.
( I need to explain the stove was a sheet metal stove [click here for more explanation]. ) He quickly added the smaller compact pieces with some wood shaving and snuggled back in bed.  About an hour later, he was startled awake by the sound of a chugging engine.  He was confused by the sound and looked around the room to figure out where the it was coming from.  He awaken me with his wild jump from the bed.  I saw the stove so red and hot it was almost transparent.  You could see the glowing log inside.  He picked up the fire thongs and reached in the stove,  pulled out a glowing piece of wood; ran outside with it and threw in on the gravel.  Breathing heavy from the fright and exertion, he looked at the wood this time and put more into the stove, and came back to bed.  The next morning he went out to look at the piece of wood.  It was still smoking in spite of the drizzly rain.  My father came over and smiled saying 'That was a pine knot, it is a wonder you didn't burn the house down.  A pine knot is hard wood filled with resin and is the joint where the tree's branches attach to the tree.  The resin makes it glow and burn hotter.
I found an example of pioneer use of pine knots.   'pine knots(spirited songs women The early night was spent around the hearth made bright and cheerful by blazing pine knots and if any member of the circle could read with satisfaction he was usually assigned this work while the others joined in the customary labor of carding spinning or sewing And seated thus upon their rough blocks of wood or rude stools there was enjoyed much of that domestic happiness which has been lost to generations later even amid the glitter of an advanced civilization )'
History of Conecuh Alabama. by Benjamin Franklin Riley 1881 pg 69
I had also read of how houses with weak chimneys were burnt down by the unsuspecting use of a pine knot. 
I am thankful the Hero woke up and saw the glowing stove, otherwise we could have all been killed in a fire. It was not his fault this was his first experience with wood burning stove and cutting wood.   It made him very fire safety conscious and careful of the wood he chose to burn.
Quite and experience.