My family comes from very blue collar roots. My mother’s side of the family ran a carpentry business before finally retiring just four years ago, and my father’s parents ran a farm of over two hundred acres for nearly 80 years. Though my grandfather sold the land of to a housing development two decades ago, the house remains in the family till this day. Since his passing, it is now in the hands of my father. My mother was skeptical about moving into a farmhouse built in 1970. Her biggest concern was the cost heating–wouldn’t a house this old spell trouble to keep comfortable? As it turns out, my mother couldn’t have been more wrong. This house was built to be comfortable year round without the need for any HVAC at all. While the house has an oil furnace today, it is built around one central fireplace that was used to heat multiple rooms of the house at various levels. The ceilings are lower, which means the central heater doesn’t have to work as hard to keep the house warm. While the windows are still the original windows, they were resealed years ago. My parents now love to have friends over in the winter, where they serve up a traditional feast with meat and breads all cooked over the fire just as our ancestors did in this house centuries past. Despite my mom’s worries, the house actually goes through oil even slower than her brand new home did. The oil furnace doesn’t have to work that hard to keep the house warm, so they can go even longer between fill ups. Everyone loves come to visit my parents in their cozy old house for a dinner that stretches on for hours.