I live in Oakland, California.
Pretty much everyone in Oakland, rich or poor, live cheek-by-jowl.
I have a sort-of unique Craftsman-style house that I am proud of and that turned out to be a good investment.
My next-door neighbor is probably the best next-door neighbor that I have ever had.
She is a nurse and has helped me in that capacity.
It turns out, however, that she also suffers from bronchitis or something along those lines.
What that means is that when we have a fire in our fireplace it causes stress on this woman.
So this is the basis of the dilemma.
This is my house. I have every right to have a fire in my wood-burning fireplace whenever I want so long as I am not in violation of local governmental fire warnings.
And the thing is, I like this person. We've been neighbors for seven years.
I am honestly not certain how to handle this. We purchased a quarter cord of wood heading into last winter and burned maybe a third over the following months.
Now the only thing that I can think of is that every time we want to have a fire, as we read aloud C.S. Lewis - I kid you not - is to confirm that she is not home.
In any case, we are heading into summer so it will not be an immediate problem, but I need further convincing before someone can tell me that I cannot have a fire in my own damn fireplace.
I have been scratching my head over this for the past month and still do not have an answer.