I feel very fortunate to have a working fireplace in our rental here. As an adult I haven't lived in a house with a fireplace and it takes me back to my childhood. Our fireplace was in the den of our house in Toronto and I spent many a Sunday night in front of it watching the flames dance and the cinders pop.
My dad had come up with a way to use our old newspapers which I have always thought was unique, but maybe that's what everyone did in to late 1960s. He would save our newpapers throughout the week and then we would roll them into "logs" and secure them with old electrical wire. Don't ask me why we used old electrical wire, that's just what I remember. These newspaper logs supplemented whatever wooden logs we had to burn - again, I don't even know where THOSE came from, but remember I was just a kid...
Fast forward to present day.
I was sitting in front of the fireplace tonight, in our rental, and reflecting on my Sunday fires as a child and then further reflecting on a beloved literary and television series.
I watched "Little House on the Prairie" on TV growing up,
but it wasn't until my daughter, The Maven was around and old enough to read/reflect on what was read to her that I really understood, to some extent, what those brave prairie folk went through.
As I sat there tonight watching the logs burn, I remembered reading "The Long Winter" with The Maven. Pa and Laura would twist straw day and night to feed the fire that not only kept them warm, but was the source by which they cooked.
How much straw they must have twisted day after day. I watched our logs burn quite quickly in the dry air and can only imagine how quickly that twisted straw burned.
So, I start my week with more than my fair share of things to be thankful for:
I don't have to depend on fire for my heat and cooking.
I'm living in a pretty nice house with all the bells and whistles compared to Laura.
I don't have to twist straw to be warm or cook a meal.
I have the warm memory of those fires in my father's den on Sunday nights.
I have another warm memory of sharing The Little House series with my daughter, both the books and the television show via reruns. (She just asked me today - "how did I see that television show while we were reading those books when you had already seen that show when you were growing up?")
Ah, the magic of tv and thank goodness for the sense of some television executives to save and then broadcast a quality television show for the next few generations to learn from and also enjoy.
I am most thankful for the love of my family and for the many friends I left behind when we moved. They are all still very close in our hearts everyday.
Call me a throw back, if you must.
You go, Half-Pint!