Sunday, March 16, 2014


Friday afternoon, Mike sauntered into the living room and inserted a new log into the little wood stove to keep the fire burning. Ordinarily we would expect no problem with that. We were getting ready to leave the house for a walk, but I was busy and we were delayed in leaving. It was a good thing, too, because the little stove commenced to smoke. A sudden windstorm was sending gusts hurtling down the chimney, and the resulting downdraft caused the fire to smolder. Smoke curled slowly but steadily through any crack it could find.

What to do, what to do?? First we yelled instructions at one another and then we propped open both the front and back doors. The little stove continued to belch smoke while the wind gusted wildly and . . . well, I digress to remind you that I’m not a good housekeeper, but that doesn’t mean that I wanted all this dirt in my house. Papers flew off the kitchen counter onto the floor while dirt and leaves hurtled across the floor.
“Can’t we put some paper in the stove and get the fire to burn?” I suggested.

“We could but I’m afraid to open the stove door,” Mike replied. “It will just put more smoke into the house.”

Really, at that point I couldn’t see that more smoke would matter. We already had plenty. About that time, the smoke alarm in the dining area went off, adding to the sense of urgency I was feeling.

Mike grabbed the ladder and climbed to the roof to see if he could shield the chimney and cause the stove to draw. That worked – and so I tossed some wadded newspaper into the stove to encourage the fire to burn and also added a small stick of wood. We were successful in our efforts to reverse the downdraft, and it was safe enough for Mike to come off the roof, but the wind had blown the ladder over, stranding him up there. I managed to replace it – difficult because of the wind.

And then it was time for Mike to go to the gym and so I took the dogs for their walk. Here are pictures of that day. KW


Chris said...

Oh my goodness!! What a day! Did you get all your papers gathered up and the smoke smell out of the house? (And I can't imagine trying to get a big ladder back up in the wind to rescue Mike. I hope you got dinner out!)

Hallie said...

I do not normally take satisfaction in the trials of others, but at this time in my life it is a comfort knowing that unexpected excitement occurs for other people, too.

Kathy said...

The temp was fairly mild that night, so when we went to bed we left windows open. The next afternoon was pleasant, so again, I aired the house. But surfaces are coated with dust.

I think most homeowners experience excitement of one sort or another from time to time. I guess you don't even have to own your abode to have the occasional debacle.

Troy Brown said...
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