Sunday, April 27, 2008

Fireplaces & Woodstoves

These pictures were taken at the pioneer village at Spring Mill State Park. I don't know what it is about a fire, but I don't think I know a single person that doesn't like to sit by a fire of any kind. We don't have a fireplace in our home, but I sure wouldn't mind if we did. Everyone else always thinks about the dirt and dust, but I could easily put up with that. I know I am one of the few people my age that can remember their mother cooking on a wood cookstove....but I do.

We had linoleum on all the floors...and they were cold of the morning. Mom was the first one up, of course. And I would wake up next--I don't know if it was all the time or just some of it. But I distinctly remember hollering, "Mommy, come and get me." She would come and carry me from the bed to a chair sitting at the end of the cookstove. There I would sit and stick small splinters of wood in through the draft at the end...while she made biscuits and cooked breakfast.

The wood cookstove had a thermometer on the door but it was broken, however my mom could bake biscuits, bread and cakes and pies with no trouble. I recall seeing her open the oven door and sticking her hand in to get a feel for the temperature. And she never used a timer of any sort. (I cannot remember anything without a timer these days.)

Our new house was heated with a coal stove for the first few years...not sure how many. Probably at least 3 or 4. I can remember sticking potatoes in the coals to bake as a snack. I think I was in 3rd or 4th grade when a coal furnace was installed. I am not sure what happened to that stove, but the old wood cookstove sits in the basement of the homeplace. At least it did the last time I checked....that has been a while ago.

I do not know what it is that draws me to the old times...I cannot imagine doing all my mom had to do with as little as she had to do with. But at the same time, I think these days stuff almost owns us...I think there is medium that I have not achieved. I have more than I need but hold on to stuff because I feel like as soon as I get rid of it, I will need it.

But looking at the bottom picture of the fire place--the utensils around it are probably all a lot of women had to cook with. And they made do with it fine. I for one, admire the women that came before.


Ferreira-Pinto said...

Tell me about it again ... is there anything better than a cold and rainy day outside and we sitting by a warm fireplace having a good chat, reading a nice book or just ... doing nothing?

Carletta said...

Very nice post. I do remember my Grandmother cooking this way. My Dad grew up in a 'hollow' we call it. There was no electricty that far back so Grandma had no choice. I can remember walking up the hollow to visit - no other way to get there - and all the way we could smell the wood burning.
I agree with Quint - nothing like a fireplace. We have gas logs and in the winter I'd rather have that on than anything.

Barb said...

On a day like today, cold, rainy and damp it would feel good cooking and sitting by that fireplace! Think about quilting and hearing the snap of the wood in the fireplace -- OK back to reality! Have a great day!

Neal said...

Well Rose you know how I feel about the old times and old home place. I never go back to TN without going back to the old home place and reminiscing (sp??) about the good times we had there and how carefree we were. I have a thousand times as many things as we had then but they don't make me happier. It just proves that "The best things in life are NOT things".

Old Wom Tigley said...

Hi Rose
I loved this post as much for your words as the pictures... your Neal is right 'The best things in life are not 'things'.. You let your mind drift back to these times because you felt safe there, no worries as such. Your memories should be put down in a book for the future, they make very good reading.

Sandra said...

i think the reason we are drawn to old times is because we lived them. a lot of the houses in KY when i was a child looked just like the two photos in this post. i used to sit behind the coal stove that was in our living room, the only heat in a 9 room two story house, it was in a corner and behind it was aways warm.