We heat our home with a combination of oil and wood. The cost of heating alone with the oil furnace is prohibitive, so we supplement with our wood stove.
This isn't the most convenient of arrangements, considering the amount of work that goes into feeding the fire, but in the end it's worth it.
From early fall to late spring, wood is on our minds. Rick spends most of his spare moments in the fall cutting, collecting, splitting and stacking wood. The fire is then on from the first temperature dip to late spring.
Fire is relentless. To be kept up, it demands to be fed regularly. It's the last thing we do before we go to bed, and the first thing we do upon waking. Luckily, Rick is a night owl and I am an early bird- there are only about five or six hours overnight when the fire is unattended. If we are away for the duration of the day though, it's a different story. All you can do is load it up, close it down and hope that by the time you get home, there are enough embers left to start it quickly once more.
As much work as it is, I do love keeping a fire burning. It's cozy. It speaks of days spent snuggled up, and of playing outside, coming in to hot tea and flushed cheeks. The wood stove, and fire, are essential elements of our winters here on Maple Lake.