Since my younger years, I’ve loved wood burning fireplaces. We didn’t have one inside our home, but I admired them when I saw them inside other people’s homes. So, I knew from that age that I wanted to have a fireplace when I became an adult. Well, that idea hastily went away when I knew how much work went into maintaining a wood burning fireplace. I discovered this as a teen when my family and I went on a trip in the mountains. And of course, we rented a chalet that came with a wood burning fireplace. I was so gleeful about this as it was the first time that I would get an opportunity to sit in front of an actual fireplace. I had it all planned out, I’d have tepid cocoa, eat cooking and sit with a blanket while I watched the flames flicker. As pleasant as that sounded in my head, I didn’t think about all the prep work that was needed to start a fire. I was astonished that my dad knew what to do as we didn’t have a fireplace in our home. Before starting the fire, he evaluated the chimney for any excess debris, cleaned out the fireplace, evaluated the glass cover, and made sure that the grate was in great condition. All the prep work that he did took about 50 minutes, and I’m ecstatic that I was able to see that process because it made me rethink getting a wood burning fireplace. Instead, I have settled for an electric version that I just plug into a wall and press a button to turn it on.