I’ve got to tell you, for the past many years I insisted that I would never live through a real winter again, and by that, I mean that I was dead set against experiencing the cold, windy, snowy weather that had marked my entire upbringing. When I was growing up I remember being cold all the time in the winter season, but it was so brutally cold outside that you had to wear at least 5 layers of clothing if you did not want to get frostbite. We always had to operate our forced air oil furnace in order to keep the family comfortable and the household pipes from bursting. I will call my parents complaining about the high energy bills created by our inefficient forced air oil furnace more mornings than not. We’re not allowed to touch the central heating, cooling, and ventilation system thermostat nor were we allowed to complain about the low indoor air and cold temperatures when our heating, cooling, and air quality control devices could not keep up with the Arctic air outside. Since all of those experiences, I have been committed to living in a warm and balmy environment. I have never wanted to rely on a forced air oil furnace or go through the pain and suffering of a normal winter season, however, life does not really care what you want. I found myself moving back to my old winter climate last year and trying to find new ways to survive the cold air temperature, and one of the most powerful things that I have found in a traditional fireplace, of all things. It turns out, your forced air oil furnace can only do so much. But a wood burning fireplace legitimately heats up your house. Since I have been relying on a fireplace instead of an oil furnace, my thoughts about winter have really improved.