Do you like to Yodel? I do not know how… but I do LOVE my Jotul!
Let me explain….
When we moved into our house about 11 years ago we had no idea, at all, how much oil we would burn… or how little insulation was in our house… ie: NONE
We ran out of oil in 3 weeks as soon as cold weather hit. I called the oil company and said “I think there’s a problem with the gauge..” I think they thought I was kidding them or something… they promptly replied ” Oh, no ma’am, there isn’t a problem with the gauge, we believe you are out of oil” Incredulously I replied “No, that couldn’t be, why we just filled the tank! Clearly we shouldn’t be out of oil”. The woman on the other end of the phone was probably rolling her eyes at me gesturing to her co-workers that they should come hear the crazy woman on the phone. Again, she assured me that we, indeed, were out of oil. OH MY. Let me say, that was a verrrrrry long winter for us!
My husband, in his infinite wisdom, said “we NEEEED a woodstove”. Of course I agreed, I mean come on now, a tank of oil in 3 weeks! No brainer here. Then, after weeks of research and pondering, my dear husband comes to me and says “we are going to put the woodstove on the main floor of the house”…. ummm what?? Let’s review… smallll house, laaarrrgggeeee family, we need ALL the space we can get! I argued, I lamented, I spent sleepless nights worrying about the space I would be losing. He tried to passify me by reminding me how we will burn less wood heating the main part of the house then we would heating the basement AND the main part of the house. Sure, Sure… be all practical!
Well, of course, he was right. It IS practical, it DOES heat the whole house for an entire winter with maybe 5 cords of wood (6 if it’s super cold and windy). It has paid for itself 10x over in the years we have owned it as we are able to get our wood off our land, but even if we had to buy the wood it would still be cheaper than oil. Of course I should love my stove, and I do. But I didn’t, at first.
I saw that chimney going in, right in the middle of MY living space. Whaaaat are you doing??? My husband cheerfully replies “best place for the chimney is closest to the peak of the house, best for draft etc” Uggghhhh, he’s right again! But inside I was fighting that chimney! It was a black tube running straight up from the stove that was right in the MIDDLE of my house!! I knew I had to get over myself… it was a battle!
Guess what? Over time I have grown in love… love for my Jotul…. love for the warmth it provides, for the free hot water always on hand in the winter months. For the free clothes drying capabilities in the winter, as well as boot and glove warming. My husband will even drape his work coat in front of it to get the coat all warm and toasty before heading out to do chores. I love that if we lose power during a blizzard we are warm, I can cook and heat water. I love that my kids crowd around the stove on cold winter mornings to warm up. I love my husband for having the wisdom to put the stove where it is and the fortitude to ignore me!
I think that the silent black monolith sitting in the middle of my house has become a central figure. Sorta like the old granny that is always in her chair, always present to give a hug or cuddle, always there to provide a warm soothing meal.
You have to have a relationship with your wood stove, you have to nurture it, care for it, at times coddle it. You have to feed it… even coax it. In return it soothes tired aching bones and muscles from working out in the winter wind. It brings the family together as they sit near it’s radiant heat. It warms frozen feet that have been out in the snow all day. It provides a glowing nightlight for the bleary eyed child getting up in the middle of the night. It nurtures you back… exactly what happens when you have a loving relationship.
Yes, I have grown to love this fixture in our home, it’s an old friend to me now.