Saturday, January 17, 2009
Wood-Burning Furnace, Part II
This is the second in a series of shots I took of my favorite barn around here. Speaking of second in a series, we return to Chesapeake Bay Mother's continuing saga of the Wood-Burning Furnace my father is obsessed with.
The Wood-Burning Furnace, Part II
By Chesapeake Bay Mother
“Previously, I wrote about Husband’s purchase of an outdoor wood-burning furnace.
In October, his crew installed everything, burying insulated pipes all the way to our oil-burning furnace in the basement. They congratulated themselves on a job well-done and said goodbye. It is almost Thanksgiving as I write this, and nobody can figure out how to marry these two systems. I overhead some talk of purchasing another “heat exchanger.”
This all reinforces the bad history Husband has with compulsive buying. The UPS man knows us well. Last year he delivered two(2) Amish electric fireplaces. I think they just made the wood features since they don’t believe in electricity.
He literally falls in love with prospective purchases. An incapacitating hysteria possesses him quelled only by the writing of a large-sum check.
His mother had that, though she bought mostly clothes and hats, but occasionally she would fall victim to this inexplicable desire to own something just plain strange. In this category I offer the “Big Round Ball” light fixture * as evidence. When the Williamsburg-style chandelier in the dining room had the misfortune to be yanked from its mooring by someone in the family who was having a really bad day, Husband’s mother replaced it with a Victorian ball light about the size of a soccer ball. It was just eerie hanging out over the antique dining room table like a UFO in search of a runway.
Once Husband had me attend a motivational meeting for a pyramid scheme he was high on. I wasn’t impressed, though Husband clearly was. It showed when he left so intoxicated by sales-sermon-induced euphoria that he actually drove onto the interstate in the wrong lane. When I say wrong lane, I mean going Westbound in the Eastbound lane. He laughed, chided himself, and backed up correcting his mistake without incident. You can understand how pleased I was when I got the news that he had already invested money. The immediate reward was a set of pots and pans. The long-term reward was a request from the Postmaster General’s office for any material concerning the “investment opportunity” we had received in the mail…something about fraud.
We have our home in a family trust, so I comfort myself that Husband’s disease, though ever present, is somewhat thwarted and contained. Over the years we have owned an airboat (good in the Everglades, where we don’t live), a huge commercial ice machine (donated to the Middlesex Fire Department), a welding machine, air compressor, motorcycle and a Volkswagen “Thing,” which has become a honeysuckle planter.
At present, Husband is anticipating the eventual operation of the furnace by bringing truckloads of wood—not yet split, actually whole tree trunks—and plopping them in the yard where we recently cleaned up an old woodpile overgrown with brambles.
Just when you thought it was gone, the big ugly woodpile is back.”
Chesapeake Bay Woman’s Comments
* I actually have this “Big Round Ball” light fixture stashed away somewhere in my basement, which is a graveyard filled with the Ghosts of Impulse Purchases Past. They were going to throw the fixture away, but I thought it looked “tres retro.”
Now that she mentions it, the thing really does look more like a soccer ball, not to mention: Chesapeake Bay Woman trying to hang a light fixture? Ha! I don’t think so. I'd sooner toss it outside and kick it into a goal. Or Queens Creek.
Regarding CB Daddy's compulsive shopping ailment: Don’t even get me started on the Home Shopping Network. The last time he watched that, he ended up with not one, but *two* sets of steak knives that could be placed in an incinerator and still be able to cut through barbed wire.
Why two sets, you ask? Well, he placed one order, then promptly forgot he had done so. Later, he called and ordered them again. He was consistent and persistent, if nothing else. He was going to have those knives even if he had to buy two sets to get them.
Home Shopping Network was only more than glad for him to order two sets.
His wife? Not so much.