Monday, January 14, 2013

Warming the present with the past

Shhhhh. I'm typing in a state of memory...or more aptly, in the state of Ohio. It's winter. Snow is falling.  I hear Dad in the basement. His face is bright red. He is stomping his boots on a mat. Snow is scattered around him. His arms are full of chopped wood.

Upstairs Mom is in the kitchen. She made potato salad earlier in the day. "Pam, take these buns downstairs." I load my arms with packages of buns and anything else I can carry. The hot dogs are already in the refrigerator in the basement. I pull out the condiments and set them next to the potato chips and dip. Dad has a nice fire going by now and is pulling out the roasting forks.

An old piano bench sits before the fire.  I sit down next to Dad. We watch the flames dance, talking about the different colors. The fire has to burn down, so we could roast the hot dogs evenly. None of my father's daughters last too long next to the fire. He usually does most of the roasting. I like to brave the flames, so I can spend time with my daddy.

Here comes Mom carrying another bowl of food and dessert. By now the dogs are done, the plates out, and someone is taking drink orders. Two 7ups and three Pepsi. We fill our plates and sit down in to eat. This is our our second kitchen. Our meal together is light hearted and usually attended by one or two other guests who show up before we are finished.

Oh, how we loved those times spent in the basement around the fire. It was the place of hot dogs, marshmallows, Christmas lights and a roaring fire. It was ping pong, pool, rollerskating and laundry. It was a place of fellowship, family and, once in awhile, a little romance. Whenever I go back to the farm in my memories, I go first to the basement. There I warm the present with the past.

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