winter coming

winter prep from a few years back 

This a.m., almost first thing, we cleaned the stove pipe. Even though it’s a soap stone stove with catalytic combustor, the ash and creosote accrete and need brushing out once a year. R. stands on the roof with long handled brush, I’m in the house beside the stove hugging the plastic bag around the stovepipe — a precaution against Ashy House syndrome.   I hear the big wire brush descending, like a mysterious hidden apparition, scraping scraping, it comes closer. The pipe is moving now, grating, grating.  Bigger and bigger its noise in my ear.  Huge.  I’m hugging, hugging.  Then, slowly the abrading withdraws.

Every five years he replaces the combuster. We heat the house with this woodstove and locally cut firewood. Maintenance can be frustrating work and every step along the way something might go wrong.

Ash dust goes up the pipe-draft as R. works.

Winter’s coming.  It’s worth it.

Pictures are from this week’s work.

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