Why I Prefer Wood HeatingMay 21, 2018
My preference for wood heating started back when I was a small child. Some of my childhood memories are a little foggy and I think that they could even be memories of memories, but certain memories are distinct and have a vivid imprint in my mind, often triggered by sights, smells and sounds.
Some of my fondest memories are those in my childhood on family camping trips spent around the fire with my family. We’d set up camp in the afternoon. There was usually a process involved, implemented by the whole family but prompted by my father. The shelter was always first. The whole family would get involved, my sister usually doing the remedial tasks as my mum and dad would create the shelter. We would always complain about this task but our parents seemed to relish in our agony as the team building event would literally unfold.
Next, it was time to collect firewood. We’d all walk out to the woods. Our parents would call us back after we would run in ahead eagerly on the hunt for prized logs to be carefully placed, as dad would stack them precisely to get maximum efficiency out of the bounty. As dad lit the fire, mum would fuss around in the kitchen while preparing the most delicious of meals. The smell of a barbecue always sends me straight back there. As the sun went down and the light faded, a slight chill would set in and we’d all gather around the fire. Mum would pack up dinner and my sister and would play chess for hours on end.
And you knew it was coming eventually. Dad would bring out the guitar, plucking each string until the guitar was in tune. Dad considered himself a bit of a Slim Dusty on guitar and the whole family would sing along to the classics as the fire crackled hissed providing the perfect backing track to dad’s awful singing. To this day I miss that awful singing when I’m sitting in my home, around my wood heater with my kids. Although now kids have to put up with my awful singing. As they sing along reluctantly, with wry smiles on their faces I know their secretly enjoying themselves and these moments will be cherished forever. And as we sit around the fire, gazing into the flames, mesmerized into a meditative state, the sound of fire providing the perfect sound scape to a time of togetherness. When everything is right with the world, and everything surrounding you is solid yet precious. These are the times that count!
Now I share similar moments with my kids as I did with my dad as I was growing up. We take turns at stoking the fire. We have indoor wood heating and have a wood heater out the back. We cook meals together, congregate around the fire, share quality family time and the feeling of togetherness is abundant in the atmosphere.
Times have changed though. Wood-fired outdoor heating has advanced a lot and the days of a fire out in the bush have changed. There is an extensive range of outdoor heaters with varying fuel sources. All I had to do was go on the internet and a few clicks and my heater was delivered in a few days. My wood fired outdoor pizza oven in the backyard doubles as a pizza oven makes the some of the best pizzas ever. Well, the kids say they are, but I think they might be just a little bit biased.
So my preference for wood heating is more of a nostalgic one than one of convenience. A gas heater takes a quarter of the time to light up and get toasty, but to me, it’s more about the ritual. Who knows, maybe my inner caveman has some attraction to fire. Even so, my family and I have spent countless hours around our wood fireplaces. Our busy lifestyles see us as a unit, go in all directions, but one thing is for sure, we always make the time to enjoy a night sitting around the heater yarning, connecting and catching up. I’d highly recommend wood heating for those people who want to reconnect with their past as well as have a wonderful present.