170: Fire Worshippers

Where we used to live in Georgia, it gets fairly cold, but not cold like northerners get cold. We get down to zero some, and occasionally, some below that, but not too often THAT cold. Still, it does get chilly enough that you appreciate a fire! We lived on family property in southern Georgia for four years, and heated the house with wood. Since we had acres to clear of undergrowth, that was the wood that we stockpiled during the summer, and during the good weather during the winter, we would add more firewood to the stockpile as we slowly cleared out undesired trees and saplings.

We like a fire a lot. The pecan trees growing around the house liked our fires, too, since we would dump the fireplace ashes in big circles under the trees: pecan trees like the fertilizer that fire ash provides to them. We liked the pecans! Azrou 365 018

Since we sold all our possessions to relocate overseas for an international teaching job, we’ve also heated (at least supplementally) with firewood. In Morocco, however, you cannot just go to the woods and cut what you want. There ARE woods nearby, but they are National Forests. Yes, they do cut trees there, but only by permit, and they cut only the trees that have died, to help keep the forest healthy. So, if you want firewood, you have to buy it from one of the permit holders who is allowed (and has paid for their permit) to cut in the National Forest. snow 004

The problem with firewood in Morocco, besides having to purchase it, is that there are few secure areas to store the wood in most apartments. We are lucky that our apartment has a private roof-top terrace, so we actually do have some space to store firewood. We will design and have our favorite metalworking shop build us a supplemental wood rack or two so we can store more of it vertically. Firewood costs less in the summer months, of course, since nobody is using it except those people who cook with wood. Firewood prices rise in winter as the demand rises from the people who also heat with it, including us.

We humans are not the only ones who really appreciate the fire in the wood stove. Our cats line up in a semi-circle around the stove like worshippers at a sacred altar. They adore the heat. They bask, snow 052indulging in kitty bath-time, they pile up for naps, lazily cleaning each other and generally just loving it. My husband and I pretty much follow suit: I fool around on my computer, and he watches football, soccer, basketball, hockey or whatever other sport is in season on his.

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