Warning! It’s the week of Thanksgiving, which means I’m feeling sentimental. By the time you read this, it’s likely I’ll be at home with my extended family.
Warning! It’s the week of Thanksgiving, which means I’m feeling sentimental. By the time you read this, it’s likely I’ll be at home with my extended family. Everyone will be curled up in their favorite seats in Mom’s living room, laughing and sharing stories while a fire crackles in the fireplace. We’re very Norman Rockwell.
As weird as it sounds, the detail that stands out to me most from that scene is the fire in the fireplace. Growing up, almost every home we lived in had a fireplace. Yet in all that time, we almost never lit a fire.
The simple explanation why we didn’t is because we didn’t need to. The house always had another method of heating. But the more accurate reason why we didn’t use the fireplace was that our lives were so crazy with school and working multiple jobs that there was no time to tend a fire.
That’s why the fire stands out to me. The one time my parents reliably built a fire in the fireplace was during the holidays.
The wood was always local, even in the days before we knew about emerald ash borer and all the damage you can cause to the woods by moving firewood long distances. Most often our firewood came right from my parents’ property. Since we didn’t have a lot of fires, we only ever needed a small wood stack made up of whatever tree near the house needed trimming or removing.
The fire that wood made was more than a way to stay warm during the November and December chill. It was a signal to everyone in the house that at what can be a really stressful time of year, we should slow down. We should sit, relax, talk, and be no more active than to throw another hunk of oak on the fire.
This holiday season, I hope you’ll have the chance to enjoy the warmth and coziness that comes with a wood fire. And even more, I hope you’ll have the chance to enjoy the warmth and coziness of slowing down and connecting with your friends and family.