Years ago I saw a movie titled "Home from the Hill" and one of the memorable scenes from the movie was the star sitting in a leather arm chair in front of a fireplace with his trusty dog by his side.
After 31 years of living in a house with a fireplace, I'd grown accustomed to wood heat to warm up cool evenings and provide a break from the gas bill. Then with a move to the country, the new abode unfortunately had no fireplace.
One of the things we did was build a shed to store all the accumulations of many years. The first improvement after the shed was built was to get a dog pen that didn't look like the Clampetts had built it. The second target was to have some wood heat in the shed.
Last spring I found a small wood stove on sale and this fall I was able to convince my insurance carrier that I wasn't going to put it in myself. I found someone who knew what he was doing to install the stove and the vent pipes.
With cooler weather nipping at our heels, we proceeded with the project and last Sunday night I gathered up some fallen limbs and a few twigs and started a fire. The guy who had installed the stove suggested that it might be smart to watch the fire and make sure the smoke was coming out the right place. It was.
In the movie, the guy had this red leather armchair with brass studs and was seated before a blazing fire. I, on the other hand, have a recliner that my friend had lost the argument over with his wife. She gave it to me to put in the shed.
The man cave is starting to take shape. It still has no refrigerator or TV, and I'm relying on a used stereo player that cost $35 dollars for entertainment. I did pull up the recliner; throw out an old rug off to my right and started reading while enjoying the warmth of the fire. After several minutes in the land of nod, I woke up and listened to the old dog snore as he lay on the rug. It may be a long way from the "Home from the Hill" movie, but for the two of us it's good enough.