Saturday, February 12

About Smoke Detectors, Fires and Tragedies. Prayers are Needed

We were talking about smoke detectors earlier today... about how a family that was burned out of their home, lost their son and all of their pets, had no working smoke detectors. This brought back a memory to me of the old woodstoves that heated the homes of our parents and grandparents.

I remember once when I was very young, watching Dad put out the fire in our old woodstove because the stove pipes were red hot. He had just finished and stepped away when the stove pipe collapsed. Hot soot went everywhere. Once it had cooled and he had swept it up, he was able to put the stove pipes back together and wire them to the ceiling. What a mess. Mom spent the next two days cleaning soot from everything in that kitchen and soot is not easy to clean up.
It leaves an oily film that's very difficult to remove. But Mom used her Lest*oil and did a fine job.

Back in the day, there were no such thing as smoke detectors. Luckily, we never had a fire, but I remember that close call so many years ago. If it hadn't been caught in time, our woodframe house would have went up like a tinder box.

Today, we have hot-wired smoke detectors in our house. They are wired to a separate panel than the rest of the house and they have battery backup in case of a power outage. Yet in this day and age, there is a less possibility of fire than there was back when I was a child and everyone had woodstoves.

Please remember to keep the batteries in your smoke detector changed every six months. It is far less costly than losing your home, pets or loved ones.

Please keep Lucinda and her family in your prayers. The funeral for their 11 year old son was today. He was overcome by the smoke in the upstairs hallway and succumbed to the smoke. His mother, father and 17 year old brother are overwhelmed with grief.

Wednesday, February 9

The Old Home Place

The winter months are long and it's almost a year since I've had anything to really blog about. First it was the heart surgery, then Mom's subsequent illnesses and stays in hospital and then...winter. I am like an old bear in winter. I like to hibernate and stay in the house where it's warm. But yesterday I had to go out and even though it was minus 25 Celcius with windchill, it was a lovely winter day if you were in the sun and out of the wind.

I was thinking this afternoon about something to share with all of my followers. I remembered taking some photos of the old home place in the summer of 2009. I've written many times about childhood memories and thought maybe you'd like to see the property where it all occurred.

This was my parent's home until about 2005, When I was young, it didn't look like this. Basically when Mom & Dad were married, he bought a three room shack that had been a hired hands house. Dad & Mom, with the help of us kids, dug the basement and added on to the house. This is what it looks like today. The pine tree and shrubs weren't there when I was young and this yard, that consisted of an entire acre, is where the three of us, my older brother, myself, and my younger sister, spent out time playing as kids.
This was my grandparent's home and it now belongs to my aunt. To the left is my parent's home. I would run across the field in between to Grandma's to help her cook, bake and anything else she wanted a hand with. I spent many happy hours in the kitchen of this home, which was through the double windows. Now, that is a sitting room and the kitchen is the window at the extreme left. The small window in the middle was Grandma's pantry and is now a bathroom.

And the barn, which is to the right of Grandma's house. It was in much better condition when I was young, of course. I heaved bales of hay into the top of this barn. The metal granary wasn't there back then. To the left, the roof you can see was the horse barn. The right hand side of the barn was the barnyard, where we let the cows out after they were milked by hand. There was a pond in that barnyard that was filled with ducks, geese, goslings, ducklings, frogs, tadpoles and a host of other creatures. Lightning bugs were everywhere. We spent many an evening racing through Grandma's yard, jars clutched tightly in our hand, in an attempt to catch these allusive insects.
That's just a glimpse into the place where I grew up. There are so many more memories that come to mind when I look at these pictures. I hope you enjoyed coming with me for a stroll down Memory Lane.