Monday, October 15, 2018

Welcoming cooler weather and wood smoke......again

Happy Monday morning everyone! We've been enjoying cooler fall temps and it has been welcomed with open arms. This morning is dreary, drizzly and cold but that is okay because it's Monday. As I look outside, I'm envisioning a day of warm pajamas, a warm blanket and snuggling on the couch with a good book or a good movie. We're allowed these kinds of days once in a while and I'm calling in mine today.

Yesterday we enjoyed a wonderful sermon at church and returned home to ready the yard and outside areas for colder weather. Hanging baskets were discarded. The overgrowth between the shop and the house removed with the tractor and taken to our burn pile. It looks much cleaner now.

Glenn began to work on our wood stove by cleaning out the huge pile of ashes and debris left from previous use and fixed a few things here and there. He began to split some kindling and crumple newspaper for a test fire. My heart skipped a beat when I saw what he was doing. There is a story behind why I get so happy and emotional about a wood stove fire. If you have time, today is the perfect day to tell you a story. So, here goes....

Many years ago when we were dating, where we live now was my husband's home place. His mom lived here with Glenn many years after her husband passed away in 1983. It was only the two of them after that day. They were each other's support through the good times and the bad. Then I came into the picture. His mom welcomed me into her home with a great big smile and always a hug. She was put in my life for a reason only God knows. I'm thankful for my short time with her and glad she loved me from day one.

In the winter time she had a wood burning furnace for her main source of heat and a wood stove in her den. During the cold weather after a ballgame we would stop by his house to visit awhile. She would have her stove fired up and my heart would melt. The smell of the burning wood in her cozy home just made me smile. It was comforting and somehow I felt like I was where I was supposed to be. I could live there all winter and be as tickled as a kid on Christmas morning. Something about the love she shared so willingly, along with the smell of wood smoke had me hooked...oh and her son of course. I was definitely smitten with him too! This is where I loved to spend most of my winters and can you blame me? I mean I had the best of both worlds here. A peaceful, quiet country setting with a cozy, warm home with the scent of wood smoke at every breath. All the synonyms for happy and content would describe my feelings.

We eventually married and moved away. As his mom got older in years, the wood fires in the magnificent old stove were fewer and far between. She eventually installed gas vented stoves to heat and the wonderful wood smoke scent I had loved so dearly was a mere flicker here and there. My heart was sad, but we understood her situation. She just couldn't keep up with the manual labor of hauling in the wood and throwing it in the fire when it was down to coals. It was just a fact of life "us kids" (that's what she always called us) had to accept. And, accept it we did. We always managed to squeeze in a few weekend stays during the cold winter months. While there, we were able to bring the wood stove back to life with a crackling fire. I oftentimes thought I might have had something to do with that, or maybe it was God putting the fire back in our hearts just a little while longer. Who knows. I cherished each visit, not just because I loved the smell of the burning wood wafting throughout the house, but I'd really cherished time with his mom. She taught me more and more about life with each visit through the years. She shared her wisdom and life experiences that most times left me in awe. I was left amazed at her way of life as a child. It was much more difficult than our generation. But, it was what it was and they did what they did because that's how life was. To hear her speak of it, she loved every minute because her home was filled with love, respect and discipline.

When God called her home, it was a huge loss for the entire family. In time, her home became run-down and unlivable. We purchased the house back to stop the destruction of such a valuable gem. It took us several years to repair the damage and bring the house back to life. We attempted to salvage what we could. Almost everything inside was destroyed, burned, sold or simply gone. This now brings me back to the wood stove. We were able to salvage the wood stove that sat in the den for many, many years. My heart is happy! We will be moving it back in the den where it belongs. The wood smoke will resurrect the memories in my mind of a simpler time in life. It will most likely bring tears to my eyes, but they will be welcomed because the memories are wonderful! I miss his momma and the wood smoke will lend her back to me for a little while. But, I'll take it with a smile on my face!

I'm so honored that you have taken time out of your day to stop by my blog. I hope that your Monday is a great one!