Our poor friends in the Northeast have been blanketed with a snow blizzard, while we are almost embarrassed to say it’s gorgeous here on the Gulf Coast, with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 60’s. But don’t forget, we have the short end of the stick in the humid, oppressive summer months!
When it does get freezing cold down here, which we consider to be in anything lower than 60°, we love a good fire in the fireplace. Many, but not all houses along the Gulf Coast are built with fireplaces, for those few days we need extra coziness.
Our coastal fireplaces aren’t usually built with stones, since we don’t have stones here. That’s a characteristic of North Alabama and North Georgia. In Fairhope, like the rest of the coast, we have soft, sandy soil. That’s also a reason we don’t have many basements in our flat, coastal terrain.
Local bricks and woodcraft are the usual materials. A common thing we’ve all heard is, “This fire’s making it too hot in here. Somebody open a window!” It’s mainly the warm glow and “crackle-crackle-pop” we want, not the heat.
My husband and I were happy to have a fireplace in our first home. Both of us grew up in Florida in homes with no fireplace, (me in North FL, which is South, and he in South FL, which is North) but we thought, “What could be so hard about it? Put some wood in it and strike a match.”
When the fire became glowing hot (and may have contained some questionable wood scraps), my husband closed the glass doors, and thankfully we both left the room – with the baby, and with the force of a runaway train, the glass doors blew out, shattering all over the room!
Whether we fill our fireplaces with a glowing warm fire, or use them to store plants or candles, we love our fireplaces because after all . . . it’s one more thing to decorate. And that’s what Southern girls live to do.
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