This photo from last April commemorated the latest-in-the-spring fire I ever made since we moved into this house in 1982. I don’t remember the exact date, but it was past mid-April.

Maybe the hand of Providence directed me to take this photo, because that was not only the latest spring fire we ever had, but it’s likely the last fire we’ll make in that fire place. The iron insert fire box is as old as the nearly forty-year old house, and with rust showing up here and there in the places I can see, I cringe to wonder what the places I can’t see look like. In the interest of safety, then, we decided to give up on wood fires. (Hence, the conversion of the former wood yard into the back yard “happy place” that’s shown up so often in posts since late spring).

As much as I loved that fire place for these thirty-plus years we’ve lived here, I feel a sense of liberation: no more firewood to cut or split or stack, no more fussing with kindling on cold winter mornings, no more ashes to shovel out, no more worry about chimney fires or worse (like burning the house down!).

Another chapter of pre-retirement life dawns. Of course, I’ll see if I still feel as liberated once the temperature dips for the first time this November or December. We may re-visit this topic along about then. 🙂

Farewell, cheery hearth!

Farewell, cheery hearth!