A few weeks ago the weather turned cold.
On the farm when the weather turned cold, we went out to the woodpile, carried in armloads, trailing dust and bark and other detritus, gathered newspaper and debated the different methods of lighting a fire in the woodstove.
Here in Alpine, I have an old Lennox gas furnace tucked in the bathroom closet. With a pilot light.
I have never lit a pilot light on a gas furnace before, but I figured it couldn't be that hard. Just like on the farm, I turned to Google to help me solve my daily challenges, like butchering chickens, shearing sheep, castrating bulls and pilot light ignition.
There are more videos than you can imagine on YouTube, demonstrating the fine art of lighting a furnace pilot. Step by step, long pieces of wadded up newspaper, matches, tucked in some basement, in who knows which state of the union. I watched. I attempted. I watched again.
For some reason, castrating a bull left me less fearful than dealing with matches and natural gas.
I went to the kitchen, found the phone book, called the gas company and within a couple of hours, a very kind man came to the house and lit the pilot light for free! He told me that Mrs. Turner, the lady who is selling me this house, was his elementary school teacher, and how he loved her. And within minutes, our house was warm.
I miss a lot of things about Virginia and the farm. But I can't say that I miss heating our home with firewood right at the minute! What a contrast to go over to the wall and turn the thermostat.