Growing up we only heated with wood. On the back of the wood stove was a large water tank. In the winter when we used the wood stove, it would heat up the water. This was the only way we had running hot water. In the spring/summer, when the stove wasn't in use, we had to heat water on the electric stove. Needless to say I was pretty happy when my parents put in oil when I was in high school.
Even though they have an electric stove, my mom still cooks on the wood stove on occasion. She makes a wonderful coffee bread over the holidays and always cooks them in the wood stove. She also makes very yummy oatmeal rolls & typically cooks them in the wood stove as well.
My parents grew up & lived in Massachusetts until the late 1960s. I'm one of five siblings (#4 in birth order). After they had married & had their first three children they decided to move out of the city. They ended up in Maine - far from family & friends - but back to nature. Now that I have a family of my own, I know how hard this must have been for them. Ironically, my hubby's parents did the same thing in the mid-1970's.
They were city kids. Although, my mom did live on a chicken farm for awhile as a teenager. They really had no idea what they were getting themselves in to. To top it off, they bought an old farmhouse. It hadn't been lived in for ten years. There was NO indoor plumbing at all. Although, the barn did have a two-seater outhouse (still does too!). They bought the place, moved in & started making improvements & adding animals.
Growing up I thought everyone lived like we did. I had a lot of siblings (doesn't everyone?). We had animals (cows, chickens, pigs) & lots of barn cats too! We ate well since we had THREE large gardens (boy, did I hate weeding those things!). In fact, I thought everyone had steak & pork chops & chicken for dinner every night. I realized how wrong I was after I went out on my own & priced how much it cost for all those things!
I'm thankful though that my parents made that hard decision all those years ago to leave all of the familiar things behind & move to Maine. They found Christ once they moved here & I was raised in a Christian home in the backwoods of Maine.