Stewardship in the Home

A few months ago we became homeowners for the first time. It’s been a switch. Prior to this year the maintenance was always the responsibility of a landlord or a board of trustees. No longer. We bought a ca. 1939 home. It’s honestly more space than we’d ever had, and my wife fell in love with some of the *ahem* charm of the place. I’m less into antiques than she, but it’s a place I could live with.

Within the last month, however, we learned that the charm of the place was more charming than we’d first been given to understand. The previous owners hadn’t realized that some things, among them furnaces, fireplaces, and chimneys, require a modicum of regular maintenance. So these things have been left by the wayside.

This, together with the fact that heating costs are on the rise, prompted a decision. It’s one that Twylah, of Lutheran in a Tipi fame, I’m sure would approve. We’re putting in a new woodstove. It has been a real wrestling match in terms of making the decision. But the overall economy and ecology of it was compelling. So hopefully by the end of the month we’ll heat our home using wood as the primary heat source.

This is uncharted territory for us. We’ve not attempted such things in the past. But the overall saving is too much to pass up. It will mean that the furnace simply doesn’t need to run anymore, or if it does it will be rare. If you’re in a place where wood is readily accessible, I’d look into it. Fireplace inserts or free-standing, these little things are quite economical. The one we’re having installed comes complete with 240 sq. in. of cooking surface, for use for fun or in the event of power disruption.

The longer I live the more ecological it seems I become. This, I’d argue, is good stewardship. But no tree hugger, I. No, I burn them.


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