I Built Fire…and Learned About Pride

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you. – Frank Lloyd Wright

Campfires…do I know how to start a fire? Absolutely! Silly question to ask a guy who camps and backpacks. Over the years I’ve learned various way to start a fire depending on the climate and what’s available. I’ve also lived in a home with a fireplace insert, which I enjoyed. I love the smell of a campfire. The smell of wood burning to me is relaxing.

When we moved into our new home it was a dream come true for me. I have always dreamt of living in a log cabin or log cabin style home. Our new home is situated in the woods on a large lot with plenty of space for critters and other outdoor projects. We have an outdoor seating area with a fire pit and a deck to sit on. Unlike previous homes, this house is heated with a indoor wood burning furnace, and for me it’s my first.

As I said building and starting a fire is not something I’m new to…buuuuuut, using an indoor, forced air, wood burning furnace has it’s learning curves. It’s been interesting to say the least. My first night firing it up, smoke billowed out and filled the basement causing me to open the cellar doors to the outside, racing to get a fan and almost smoke my wife out of the living room.

On the second day I was proud of myself, I used once again the top down method. The fire started and it wasn’t long before I had a good bed of hot coals. I placed, with purpose, a few split logs on the bed of red coals and watched them catch flame. All was good. I shut the furnace door, checked to make sure everything was good with the damper, etc and headed upstairs to watch some football. But something didn’t sit right with me, or maybe it was me being unsure, so I headed back downstairs to check the furnace. When I open it I found everything simmering, smoking and barely any fire. I was frustrated to say the least.

So I did some research, learned what I could and ventured to get the furnace going to take the chill out of the house so my wife could be warm.

In the last week, I not only learned how to use a wood burning furnace, but I also learned something else. Don’t allow pride to get in the way. Just because you think you know something doesn’t mean you know it all. Most of my life any fire building I’ve done has been outside for camping, and just because I have the skills to build campfires did not mean I had the skills to run a furnace in my home. Their was a learning curve for sure.

Sometimes we have moments when we allow the pride of knowing something to trip us up. Never be afraid to learn.

As for my wood burning furnace, I’m doing much better, but I’m sure I will continue to learn more about it as well as how to use it more efficiently.

Remember, life is one long hiking trip, so hike it by faith and never stop learning.

Learning never exhausts the mind. – Leonardo da Vinci

3 thoughts on “I Built Fire…and Learned About Pride

  1. Congratulations from a 30 year wood stove heating the house veteran. It’s a lot of work and messy but there is NOTHING like the warmth of wood burning heat. It’s all about air. How much and when. Lots to begin and then less as the fire reaches its maturity. But don’t starve the air from the fire. You’ll get less heat, more smoke and eventually, a chimney fire. And if you’d like a lesson on cleaning your chimney, well, stop by. Mine is ready for its annual brushing.

      1. Usually we let it be for the night. Only on those howling wind driven bonechillers will I get up and trudge down to the basement to fill the stove back up. A down comforter and wool socks suffice.

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