On Tuesday we got a call that men were on their way to install the gas heating stove in the living room. Hooray! I had ordered the stove months ago and almost forgotten about it, so this felt like Christmas.
Before they arrived, Nick and I spent a lot of time planning and measuring. I have a hard time picturing spatial relationships, especially in three dimensions, so I suggested that we cut a piece of cardboard the size of the stove and push it around to see where it would work best. We did this, and before the stove was carried in, Nick had the floor marked with tape and shims cut to the exact height of the future hearth. As a builder, Nick is very soothing. He is careful, neat, and thinks of everything.
As a first step in the process he had moved all of the boxes out of the corner, rolled back the carpet, and laid out cardboard to protect the floor from the workmen’s tools and supplies. He did the same upstairs in our bedroom where the stove pipe would run through the eave.
It was restful to know I have someone on my team who could oversee the installation and make sure it was correct to a 32nd of an inch. As the men clattered up and down the stairs hauling pipe and shouting to each other, I went back to paying bills.
An hour later Dan the electrician appeared at my door, his brows knit. “Have you seen the pipe?!” he hissed. Dan knows from experience that two of the few things my eye can see instantly are level and plumb. In this regard, the stove pipe certainly fell short. From different angles it looked like something from The Beverly Hillbillies.
I burst out laughing, but thanked him for his concern. The pipe is going to be hidden inside a corner brick-veneer fireplace that Nick will build later. (I am starting to worry slightly when “later” will be.)
Meanwhile the eave is open in our bedroom and materials and boxes are stacked around our bed.
The pipe goes out the side wall under the rake of the roof. Despite having the stove specs, the house company architect didn’t plan perfectly and so Nick will have to build a box to extend the pipe beyond the roof edge. There is nothing else to be done. I tell myself that when it’s all painted white, no one will notice the odd carbuncle on the house wall.
DH gets home in a little less than a week. My dream is that the interior wall might be insulated, closed in, taped, mudded, trimmed, and painted before his return, so I can remove cardboard, clean, and finish setting up our bedroom, but even I can see that this is unlikely.
Still, I’m excited to have the stove. It is the plainest one I could find and it reminds me happily of our old Vermont Castings.
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I am better today. The fire alarms did not go off. I did not get up at 3 AM. Plus the sun is shining for the first time in a week, and instead of raw October it feels properly like August. I will finish cleaning out the freezer and then tackle the next thing on my list. I might even be able to mow!