Last week, my furnace broke and the house was an icebox for 24 hours. On New Year's Eve morning, there was nothing to do but watch, cheek in palm, as a dude replaced the furnace igniter and then asked me for hundreds of dollars.

Aaaanyway, the whole thing rekindled my love for my wood stove—its steady warmth and friendly, flickering light—which precipitated a peculiar childhood memory: how Little Me used to crawl beneath our kitchen wood stove (like the one below) in the afternoons after ski class, curling up there beside the cats with a baggy full of Cheezits. If I hadn't peed my pants that day, I'd still be in my long underwear. If I had (too often!), I'd be in my blue velour sweat suit. Either way, it was fucking heaven under there. Womb like. The warmest place in the house.

Big Me would kill to have a cozy, safe place of this caliber to curl up now and then.