Since, I was not employed, my task was to gather, cut and chop firewood. I also tended the fire and made sure the house did not freeze. It seemed that all thorough the month of January the temperature never got above the low twenties. Besides that a strong wind out of the northwest seemed constant. The beach side of the house faced south and was out of the wind and usually in the sun. This is where I set up a station to cut, chop and stack firewood. It was also easily accessible to the living room where Franklin Stove resided. The Christmas tree that was in the house for that celebration ended up on the beach near our pile of kindling. It had dried in the sun almost a month when our other kindling supply evaporated.
My routine upon awakening was to stoke up embers left from our overnight fire and add kindling to restructure a blaze to welcome folk in the morning as they rose. On the first day, that our kindling supply was gone, I took out an ax and chopped the old Christmas tree into pieces small enough to cram in the stove. And that is just what I did, crammed the stove full of dry brittle spruce tender. After loading it up, I shut the doors and stood back waiting for the kindling to ignite on the glowing bed of embers. While waiting, I stepped out to gather some firewood to add to the fire once it got going. When I came back inside with an armload, I was greeted by an alive Franklin. All the tender kindling was ablaze The heat it generated caused all the seams to open and the sides of Franklin to warp outward. Belching sounds emitted as Franklin whooped to gather oxygen to fed its raging inferno.
Each time it took a gulp, the stove seemed to move slightly. It seemed to be alive and straining to move itself outdoors to find more air and fuel. Luckily, the fuel provided by the chopped up Christmas tree exhausted rapidly. Just as hastily as it came alive, Franklin passed away. The belching , wheezing, and leaping about ceased. As the metal parts cooled down they returned to their previous shape and the seams closed up. When I opened the front, the remnants of the fire were ready to receive the pieces of wood, I had brought to sustain it. I placed them inside and sat back to observe Franklin do the job he was designed to perform.