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Date:12/17/2014 8:03:41 PM
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Coziness, Part I
This is the time of year when a countryman or woman really appreciates coziness. When the long winter's night descends, or when there is a major snowstorm raging throughout the day, we love being safe and warm and dry, not to mention being well provided for. I love and identify with the sentiments expressed by Kenneth Grahame as he describes his characters of "The Wind in the Willows" safely ensconced in Badger's den during a snowstorm, ". . . and each animal felt that his skin was now as tight as was decently safe, and that by this time he didn't care a hang for anybody or anything, they gathered round the glowing embers of the great wood fire, and thought how jolly it was to be sitting up so late, and so independent . . . "

I have already mentioned that once my Pa retired, he would love a good snowstorm. He liked building a good fire in the basement stove and have it warm our floor. As a kid, I used to like tending the fire during the evening and finding a good solid "night log" to put in at bedtime. I remember one winter morning when I was in high school waking up to cold and darkness in our house. An ice storm had brought down power lines all over the county. Pa had set up the battery powered radio and so we knew that there would be no school that day. There's always something about the unexpected delight of a snow day, even though you knew you had to make it up in the spring. It was fun to start a new fire in the basement stove and sit around it to warm up. It was almost a disappointment to see the lights come back on later that morning.

I also used to love building a fire in the "old house," that is to say, our garage at the homestead. A box stove had been there for years, and I would marvel at how a fire in that stove would warm that building in about an hour or so. I can't tell you how many hours I spent in that garage, cleaning game or just watching Pa putter about. Even on early spring or late fall mornings he would build a fire just "to get the chill out" as he used to say. When I was in college I would build a fire there and do my studies, free from any distraction. To this day, eldest brother David remarks that he misses Pa most when he is in that garage. More on Coziness in my next blog. -- Gary
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