It is chilly outside, perhaps even what some might consider cold, but inside our little cabin, it is absolutely, perfectly warm.

This morning, I ventured outside to do those farm chores that absolutely needed to be done, but as soon as I returned to the cabin, I found that all I wanted to do was take off my boots, snuggle up on the couch with a dog at my feet and let the wood-burning stove’s warmth embrace me.

The heat that radiates from the little stove is nothing short of mesmerizing.

It causes time to stand still, lazy thoughts to play across my mind and my eyes to grow wonderfully heavy.

I feel as though I am washed by a comforting peace, and I soon realize that my breathing has slowed, only to be punctuated by the occasional crackle of a burning log.

It occurs to me that I do not even have the energy to sort through my marble collection, much less do something that I really ought to be doing.

The back of my mind is tickled with the thought that I really should repot the greenhouse citrus trees into their larger 55-gallon drum planters. My eyes flutter. A sneaking suspicion also creeps into my consciousness that it would be a perfect day to venture out into the woods and cut down a few
more standing dead trees to split into firewood and stack in the wood shed.

My eyes fall shut. Or a flickering glimmer of a suggestion taps on the backs of my eyelids, that we could work on the log house, running the plumbing through the bathroom floors and down to the basement, but my almost unconscious realization reminds me that this is far easier said than done.

The pipes and stacks will all need to be enclosed in cabinets, carefully crafted by Greg.

We have learned that in a log home, there are few if any walls to house the plumbing. So, I let my head tilt back into the couch, my eyes now firmly closed, and I luxuriate in the warmth of the little stove.

This indulgence may only last for a moment, or perhaps a few minutes, but it is ever so priceless.

Yes, this time of year is special for so many reasons – holiday craft sales, family gatherings, dinner plates piled high with the most amazing foods – but for one brief instant, perfection surrounds me completely in the still warmth of the fire.

Eyes closed, I smile. I could not be more thankful.

Christine Tailer is an attorney and former city dweller who moved several years ago, with her husband, Greg, to an off-grid farm in Ohio. Visit them on the web at