Ever since I was a young child, my extended family always meets up for every winter holiday gathering.
For decades, the chosen locale was my parents’ house.
This is where my siblings and I were raised, as well as the place many of my cousins would spend their summers after many of the older kids left for college. We all cherished that old house and all of its vintage charm. Unfortunately, as my parents grew old, they couldn’t handle climbing up a staircase just to get into the front door, or descending another to get into the basement to do laundry. Before we knew, my parents were selling their house to buy a single story condo. We all love their new condo, but it simply is not large enough for a huge family gathering. When we all considered alternatives, we all agreed that our brother’s house would be the best choice from here on out. Aside from being large, spacious, and full of ample seating for any and all guests, he has this amazing new wood stove in the living room. While the gas furnace downstairs is running, he will light a fire in the wood stove as a supplement. It not only helps the furnace keep the indoor climate warm, it also adds an indescribable amount of ambience to his home. Our kids all love sitting around the fire while we read them stories. It’s a magical experience after being forced to lose our childhood home. Now our kids can all experience something similar with the ambient wood burning setup at our brother’s house.