backstory,  homesteading,  self sufficient

Wood-Burning Stove

When we bought this house, our first, high on the list of wants was a wood burning fireplace. When we moved in, there was technically a wood burning fireplace, but it wasn’t effective. So one of our first remodels was putting in “the beast”. We found this massive wood burning stove on a yard-sale site, installed it, and have since largely heated our home with the sweat of our brows my husband’s brow.

For us, having a wood burning stove is not just about heat. It’s about so much more, and that’s why despite the messes it entails and the inconvenience it brings, I don’t know if we could ever go back to life without it! Is having a fire burning in the morning when I wake up, with a wheelbarrow full of logs by the back door a love language? It’s one of the 5, right? 🙂 Well, it’s become one of mine anyway. I know how much work goes into creating that fire in the wee hours of the morning, so I can’t help but feel loved.  And when I do my job, keep it stoked all day, and there’s still a warm fire going to greet my husband when he comes back from work, that’s me saying, “I love you too”.


Stoking a fire is living family history for us. Maybe not for me necessarily, who grew up in sunny St. George, Utah. But for my husband, yes. When he goes to gather wood he is walking in the same footsteps as his Grandpa Garner and his own father who heated their home strictly with a wood burning fireplace in North Carolina.

When he sighs with contentment at his fully stocked woodpile, he is honoring the memory of his Great-Grandpa Ewing, who had the most envious woodpile in western Idaho. As a young man during the Great Depression, he always made sure that his family had plenty of firewood to keep them warm, even if other necessities were tight. Right up until his death, he was still going up into the mountains with his chainsaw and hauling back wood.

My husband grew up in northern Utah in a home that always had a cozy fire burning during those cold winter months. He learned from his father how to chop down trees, split and stack wood, and keep a fire going all day, which after many personal attempts,  I can say with authority that keeping a fire going all day is quite the task and gives you such a sense of accomplishment!


He is now teaching our children the basics of running the fire at home.  He teaches them not to be afraid of the fire but to respect it. He patiently teaches them that the fire needs three things to survive, “air, heat and fuel”. I smiled when I heard his dad telling the kids the same thing at their house when we were over for Sunday dinner. It’s coming full circle.

We are teaching our children the importance of self-sufficiency. We are creating a cozy home full of love and light. We are guiding them through lessons of hard-work and effort. We are connecting our children to their past so that they can move confidently through their future.


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