Where Does That Smoke Go?
On one of our experiences in country life, city style, my son and I had a lesson on how to cut branches and what kind to cut. It was the year of the hurricane, Hugo, and we were alone, just he and I. We had only been in the house for about three months, and my husband had not joined us yet. No one thought that any of the storm would hit all the way up into the Blue Ridge Mountains. We did not expect to experience any repercussions, except some hard winds. We did not suffer as so many places did along the coast, but we had havoc in our community. There were trees down and branches broken, and the electric out for days. The wood stove I had proudly purchased as a decorative piece, to give the house a more welcoming look, took on quit a different job. Our idea of kindling for the stove was a joke on us. We slept through the storm, and woke up to branches everywhere and no way of cooking. We quickly went to my favorite store, Ace Hardware, where the owners were so nice. There is where we purchased a branch saw, which they had chosen for us. Mt son and I sat on the ground and sawed those branches in nice measured sticks for the stove. People on our road were driving by, slowly, and as they passed were shaking their heads, which they did allot anyway. We dismissed it, as they were just being nosy. After almost a day, working on our task at hand, we brought the branches in the house and attempted, and I do mean attempted, to start a fire. The stove had two eyes, or in city terms, two holes, to cook on top. No one had thought to tell us what the knob on the pipe was, we just thought, who knows what. A new stove has blacking on it, another unfamiliar word, and when first used it smokes until the stove is seasoned. It is kind of like what you would do with a cast iron skillet. All excited, we attempted to start a fire, which was certainly not that easy. I had made a fire in Girl scouts. Ha, not the same. Within minutes, the smoke was billowing out of the house, and the neighbors were flocking to our door, thinking these fools have caught the house on fire. We had tried to start the fire with green sticks from the yard; we had toiled on all day. After getting the situation under control, one of the neighbors, started a fire, explaining in detail what to do. It wasn’t long, there were a few gathered around my stove drinking coffee, roasting marshmallows, and keeping warm. I am not sure if they were there for a friendly social gathering, or to make sure we did not burn the house down. Have to say, we had a blast. I was never allowed to forget the day, when, the big storm .
Copyright 2013 Barbara C Rowe
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