smoke, coyotes, and mild weather

These are seemingly unrelated topics at first. What they have in common is their connection to my life lived in rural BC. This land calls to me with images of loveliness, brilliant green in spring, vibrant colors in summer and the serene monotones of fall and winter. On the surface, deceptively romantic, but really it’s a struggle everyday. Routine items, like keeping warm and dry, growing food and running a variety of appliances with electricity become these large choreographed performances. The latest venue played last night as the heat seal from the wood stove crumbled into my hands right after I had filled the firebox for the night. I could not repair it and when the door was closed without the seal the air whipped in the gaps and over the wood filling the stove with bright orange flames. I could tell it wouldn’t be long before the stove reached a dangerous temperature. Pulling the fire apart was the only solution I could come up with so I called my son and we pulled each log out, dousing it with water in a metal bucket and hauling it outside. We successfully emptied the firebox of wood while filling the house with smoke. Our eyes and throats burned and I couldn’t help but wonder if there had been a better solution. After an hour of airing out the house, I finally headed to bed. It was after 11:00 p.m. and I had some trouble falling asleep. I kept thinking about how great it would be to sell the place and move somewhere…easier. I decided to open my window and put on an extra quilt. The weather was mild and the fresh air felt soothing on my throat. At some point I must have drifted off because the next thing I remember I was waking up to the sounds of a discordant chorus of coyotes with the neighbor dog singing back up. It was 2:20 a.m., only 3 hours remained until the start of the next day. Bring it on! I thought sarcastically before I drifted off again.


About art4life

I have a visual art practice and (way too) many ideas, thoughts and opinions I want to share. Thanks for listening.
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One Response to smoke, coyotes, and mild weather

  1. Dawn says:

    I have those thoughts some days too. Someone in our house put a container of honey on the warming shelf in the centre rather than the cooler corner and it was cool in the house so we were getting a good hot fire. Then the bottom of the honey container melted and the honey dripped on the surface starting billowing smoke then it burst into flames. I have a large container of salt in the pantry and was able to douse the flames with that and scrape the burning honey from the surfaces while the flames carried on (although I tried some salt on them too to no avail). Once the stove cleared I was able to remove the remainder of salt and soot from the service. Being in the country we are constantly learning from the trials we face. We are also bringing the dog in every night to sleep so I am not up with her a hundred times as she sings a chorus with the pack of coyotes out roaming during mating season. Yep sometimes I dream of simpler times 😉 .

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