Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Write with me ~ about memories

Write a list that begins "I remember."
(Why a list?  Why not just write about a memory?
Okay, do whatever you like about "I remember,"
and maybe write a paragraph in the comments?)

I remember the stove in the living room of our house when I was a little girl.  My experiences with that coal stove came to mind when I read this line on page 204 of Jacqueline Winspear's novel Birds of a Feather (2004):
"Maisie prepared her bath, opened the door to the fire and settled down to soak before embarking on the rest of her day."
When I was three years old, my mother's mother died and my family moved into her house with my Aunt Bonnie Reynolds.  The coal-burning stove sat in front of the closed-in fireplace, where the stove pipe vented.  It looked something like this one I found online, but our fireplace was still there behind the stove.  Our stove wasn't as boxy as this, but had more rounded corners.  Beside it was the coal shuttle, shaped like this one.

That little stove was the only heat for the whole house (not counting the kitchen's oven), and I'd run to the living room on cold mornings to warm myself — front and back — at the open door of the stove.  Maisie, in the novel, opened the door of her stove for the fire's warmth, just as we did.  Both bedrooms, where I lived, opened onto the living room, the one where I slept with Auntie at the front of the house and the one where my parents slept at the back of the house.  Between the bedrooms was a connecting bathroom, with a clawfooted tub and a big closet.  I probably would have welcomed a warm stove near my bathtub, as Maisie did.

Modern technology enabled me to "visit" that house again by googling the first address I ever memorized; I lived on Fifth Avenue in East Lake.  The open lots on each side are still there, but the big tree in front of the house is gone, replaced by a smaller tree on the other side of our front yard.  Grandma's two beautiful crepe myrtle trees are missing from the side yard.  Ah, well, everything changes, doesn't it?

I googled that address for a 2013 post, where I also mentioned the changes wrought by the decades since I lived there.

No comments: