Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

What you have here is an old guy. In education for 30 years, started teaching elementary, ended as library and media director of community college. I've enjoyed mountain climbing, sports car rallying, was pipe major of a bagpipe band, played guitar and sang during the folk revival, walking and hiking later in life. Now fairly sedentary. Enjoy reading, esp. mysteries and fantasy, but my reading is pretty eclectic. Enjoy movies, giving Netflix a workout.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Night Thoughts: The darndest things come to me when I wake up at night sometimes. I don’t know why but last night I thought about the oil stove in our home. We used it from the time I was six until I moved out. There was no oil furnace. We’re talking 1936. There was a rather utilitarian looking brown oil stove, rectangular in shape, perhaps four feet high. It was not fed automatically. No such magic thing. Having recently replaced our 300 gallon underground oil tank I can unequivocally say that we had nothing like that. That was probably the first regular chore that my parents gave me. Out in the yard was a 50 gallon tank which sat on a stand my dad had built. My job was to fill a bucket with oil from the outside tank. I carried it into the house and carefully poured oil from a spout into a receptacle on one side of the stove. Best not spill any oil on the floor of the living room. One the other side of the stove was another receptacle. Water went in there in order to keep some humidity in the room. Keeping both of them full was my job.

Later, when I could handle an axe there was wood to split and a woodbox to fill. This was for the kitchen stove where mom prepared the meals, baked bread and wonderful pies. Oh, my! Mom was a darned good cook. But this was maybe a couple of years later that I was handed this chore. When I could be trusted to not chop off fingers or a foot. And lawn to mow, and chickens to feed (don’t forget to collect the eggs) and a rather large garden to hoe. Plenty of chores.

Strange things to be thinking about in the middle of the night. Where did that come from?


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