After sitting by such a lovely, crackling fire at my in-laws' house over the holiday, Matt just couldn't let another year go by without lighting a fire of our own. The only problem: our 65 year old house has never once hosted a warm winter fire. How would we know if it was safe?
The people who lived here for 60 years before us said they were too afraid to ever light one because some neighbors down the street had a house fire caused by their fireplace. So last year, Matt asked me to have the chimney people come out and do an assessment-- which ended in a $3,000 estimate to fix all of the damage in our chimney. Bottom line: unsuitable for lighting fires in its current condition.
But Matt, being the chimney sweep expert that he is, decided that this evaluation was a scam to get money out of us and that our chimney was perfectly fine.
As much as I would like to believe him and let him have his simple little dream of sitting by a warm fire come true, I have a 2 year old and an unborn child to worry about these days. Those pipe dreams of risking our own lives are no longer a luxury we have.
So after expressing these concerns, what do I come home to one sunny Saturday afternoon? Matt is vacuuming out the chimney. Apparently, the obvious solution to a chimney unsuitable for holding a fire. Just vacuum it out, right?
Well, karma is a B--blundering experience, because as Matt was laying face up on his back, cleaning out the "twigs" and debris from in between the bricks, this fell right on his face:
The perfectly in-tact, fossilized remains of a 45 year old squirrel with some kind of stab wound to its side. Hopefully, Matt won't need a rabies shot from this one. But he did get his precious fire, finally. After I installed 2 carbon monoxide monitors on each floor, replaced all smoke detector batteries and forced Matt to dump a pitcher of water over each already-dead fire after it went out.
I have to admit, it is really nice to be able to snuggle up by a nice little fire on a chilly night. It makes you appreciate the winter a little more... and have nightmares of your house burning down, but whatevs.
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