Thursday, November 18, 2010

Flip The Switch

I just flipped the switch and turned on the gas fireplace. Flip of a switch. The room will heat quickly taking off the winter chill. It will travel upstairs heating that area as well. Flip of a switch.

Shhhhh. Nope. Don't hear it. No sound of crackling from the burning wood. Hard to get a crackle out of fake wood. No beautiful colors and hypnotic flame. Instant fire.

Dad was quite a pro when it came to building a fire. He carefully laid out the wood and kindling. Like a grown boy scout, he took the task seriously. This was his territory. Many times I watched him build the fire in the basement fireplace. The winter routine would repeat itself, and we were thrilled. Dad built the fire then brought out the hot dogs and the roasting forks. Mom laid out the plates and potato chips. A hot dish would join the food laid out on the counter. Christmas lights that hung around the room were lit. Dad's fire roared. When it calmed down, he threaded the hot dog onto the stick and placed it in my hands.

This was quality time with Dad. We roasted hot dogs sometimes talking about the dancing colors in the fire. I learned that different woods burned differently. A bit of grease would drop into the fire and the flames would peak. Dad oversaw the progress of the food prepared over his fire. A daughter and father spending time together.

There won't be any hot dog roasting over our fire. I can't even build a fire in our fireplace as my father did all those years ago. But I can sit here and remember, telling my grandchildren of the fun we had gathered around the fireplace in the basement.

Just a flick of the switch.

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