Sunday, November 16, 2014

Meet My Fireplace

Picturesque, its native stone dominating the living room, I've never shown you my fireplace because it doesn't cross my mind. Last lighted in 1991 as testified by the tenants before me, it blasted hot soot throughout the cabin,
requiring an actual disaster team for clean-up, and the charring underneath the mantel from that hot mess is still visible today.

Estimate for re-lining and repair: $8000, and the landlord wouldn't pay, or for the cost of running and installing a new propane pipe for a gas fire. Because critters came down the chimney and died behind the glassed-in hearth--here covered by a blue wintertime sheet of custom-cut insulation--I had the chimney sealed. The huge crack up the front was there when I moved in, and I shuddered in its draft for 13 winters, until this very day when I caulked it with caulk that's white when first applied but turns transparent. I also filled holes in the native rock, unworried about resale value. This cabin was not built for year-round occupancy and some say the chimney was faulty from the first.

Fireplaces are wonderful, so romantic--and they suck the heat out of the room, require careful maintenance and tending and the bringing in of wood, and I wish mine were the fireplace it aspired to be, but it isn't.

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