One of the most popular (that is, frequently read) of all the posts I’ve written here at Meanwhile, at the Manse over these past almost three years is the one from June 2012 (it’s here, if you’d like to check it out) wherein I ruminated over what kind of wood stove – modern, or traditional? – Raymond and I should get for the Manse. We most certainly do need a wood stove. Pretty much everybody in these parts has one. My family had one when I was growing up in this house. A wood stove is an economical and reliable way to have cozy heat even when the power goes out; and it creates a warm (in every sense of the word) centre for any household, if you ask me.
Now, as it happens Raymond and I have pretty much decided what kind of wood stove we’re going to get, and in fact that decision was made several months ago; I’ve just been waiting to share it with you until what seemed like the appropriate time. Tonight, as I walked from my car into the Manse amid falling and blowing snow, howling wind and bitter cold, I decided that this is that time.
We found the stove of our dreams thanks to our Queensborough friend Dave‘s recommendation that we visit a store called Friendly Fires in Peterborough. There we explained to a knowledgeable staffer named Hayley that we needed and wanted a wood stove, but were torn between (as I’d outlined in that old blog post) an old-fashioned-style Heartland along the lines of the vintage Findlay that adorned the Manse kitchen in my childhood, like this model…
… and the sleek modern styles that one finds in European-made stoves, like this:
Well! Hayley had just the solution for us. She showed us a brand-new European-style model called the Neo, from a line made by Pacific Energy. As you can see from the photos at the top of this post and to the right here, the Neos are elegantly designed and compact. They throw a lot of heat – and they come in lots of different colours! (That last being almost the most important consideration, from my point of view.) I fell in love instantly, and we left clutching the colourful brochure that told about all the wondrous things Neos could do (BTUs and whatnot; if you’d like to check for yourself, there’s more here and here) and a promise from Hayley that she’d call us as soon as she could find out the retail price. (The Neo being so new that, as she explained, they were only just starting to come off the factory floor.) And as it happened, as we walked into the Manse from that Peterborough trip, the red phone was ringing and it was Hayley, with a price that seemed quite reasonable.
So we are sold on the Neo. However, there are still some major decisions to be made and obstacles to be overcome before one of them is burning brightly and keeping us toasty on wintry nights like this one at the Manse.
The first is where exactly it should go. Almost certainly that will be the kitchen; but as anyone who has installed a wood stove in recent decades will know, there are a lot of issues that have to be resolved before you just go and put in a wood stove, like proper setup of the chimney, making sure the stove is far enough away from the wall, and so on. You don’t really get a second chance if you decide that you put it in the wrong place the first time – or at least, you do, but it’ll be a lot of cost and mess to change it.
So really before the wood stove can go in, we have to have our full renovation plan for the kitchen in place. Which we don’t yet, though we’re working on it.
And secondly (and this part is a lot more fun), there’s the decision to be made about the colour! Should it be Sunset Red, or Ivory, or Ebony, or Coffee Bean Brown, or Titanium, or Coffee, or Black Pearl, or Royal Blue?
On this cold winter night with the sound of the wind howling outside the window beside me, I shiver – with excitement – at the possibilities!