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.