"We'd moved out of the apartment on Gloucester Harbor to a little house
all our own. The house was situated at the edge of the downtown area,
close to the harbor and wharves. We got a good deal on the rent because
the place didn't have any heat. It didn't have any heat because it
happened to be on low ground next to a marsh, and in winter and spring
when the frozen ground couldn't absorb the runoff, the basement
flooded. The oil burner had been destroyed by high waters years before.
We installed a used gas-log stove in the kitchen that only worked if
you kept a weight on the safety button that was supposed to turn off
the gas if anything went wrong. We put an old wood stove in the front
room, too. I ran a stove pipe up through the living room ceiling and
into the conked-out oil burner's chimney, thereby providing us with a
rudimentary heating system. We quickly learned that green wood did not
produce much heat. They were demolishing a building down the street and
we spent the rest of that first winter burning all the wooden studs,
sills and headers that I could snitch from the site."
from Chapter 3. THE TIME MACHINE.