In the past week alone three couples have mentioned to me they’re seriously considering installing a fireplace or an outdoor wood furnace as a hedge against raising oil costs. On the face of it, that’s not too surprising, given where I live. A lot of people in the country want or need an alternate source of heat. What’s interesting is that the people who said it weren’t exactly truck driving country types, but Volvo owning suburbanites, the sort of people I would never imagine in a million years would want to install Satan’s outhouse in their backyard.
I wonder if there’s a trend story here. Do you think the New York Times might assign me a story about it? About how “more and more” people are considering investing in a heating source worthy of Larry the Cable Guy? (You’ll notice many trend stories use the slippery phrase “more and more” when there’s no hard evidence to substantiate a trend. ”More and more” is editorial code for “the reporter and three of her friends.”)
I will say this. I’ve been using the OWF for a couple of weeks now and I can’t believe how dry it makes the house. So dry that my throat all but seals up the moment I climb into bed. I can barely swallow. I wake up with a head ache. My body is actually sore. It was worse for June, who kept waking up and crying, her little throat swollen like a grapefruit. I finally bought her a humidifier, which helps (she hasn’t been waking up all night) but now I need to get one for myself. And I’ve opened all the windows to bring outside moisture in….then cranked the heat even more to compensate.