Thursday, September 26, 2013
Ode to My Wood Stove
My husband lights a fire in the wood stove in the early morning so that the kitchen is cozy by the time the kids come downstairs for breakfast. Still, they wrap themselves in sweaters or blankets, or prop their feet up on the oven door to prolong the warmth of their beds a wee bit longer. If it's a weekend, they relax in front of a live concert while I get busy processing more apples. The heat of the stove is enough to simmer a pot of apples, and before the baby's first nap, I have some sauce sealed in jars.
I remember reading once that the middle square of a log cabin quilt was traditionally sewn in red fabric to represent the hearth. In this modern age, we still depend on the warmth of this fire, and spend these Fall days nearby, singing, colouring, winding yarn from skeins, or (if you're lucky enough to be a cat at the Knitty Gritty Homestead) napping.
This early Fall weather is a window that closes quickly, where we can get away without using the furnace to heat our rambling farm house. By the time the sun rises above the trees that trim our piece of land, its heat has has warmed up the house. We let the fire die down by early afternoon, putting on just a small piece of wood here or there to keep the embers alive until evening.
Then, as we finish dinner, we build it up again so that by the time the children don their pajamas, the kitchen is once again the coziest place to be. Snacks of toast and warm milk are doled out, then we snuggle under blankets to read another chapter of whatever we're reading (fittingly, Little House in the Big Woods at the moment).
We go to bed knowing that in the morning the embers will still glow, to be built up again into warmth and light that will welcome us as we begin another day.