October 23, 2005

First fire

We had a cold, rainy weekend here, a grey weekend suited for staying home and getting organized for the winter ahead. I love the chilly weather. It felt good to stay indoors, cosy in a fleece hoodie, fleece sweatpants, and down booties, an outfit I'll be wearing until about April. I love the sound of rain hitting glass, and I know that soon that rain will turn to snow.

The best thing, though, is that the house was chilly enough for a fire. The warmth and smell of a crackling fire draws everyone close, making the hearth the center of our home. What I especially love about a fire is that it makes relaxing in a comfy chair - or on the floor with some big pillows - seem like a meaningful occupation. I can spend hours just staring into the flames.

Saturday, I sat cosily in a chair by the fire and listened while Boy in Black and his friends hung out all around me, talking and joking. This morning, my mother-in-law sat on the couch in front of the fire, reading the Sunday newspaper. This afternoon, my parents stopped by on their way home from a wet hike at Pretty Colour Lakes. "If you go when it's raining, you have the whole park to yourselves," my father said cheerily. I made hot tea for them, and we settled down in front of the fire to talk. Late Sunday afternoon after my parents and all the extra kids had gone home, we had a family meeting, all of us listening to the logs crack and spark while we renegotiated chores, rules about computer use, and bedtimes -- and I announced severe punishments for anyone caught tossing stuff behind the couch. This evening, I sat in front of the fire, snuggled under a quilt, and read everything I needed to read for class tomorrow.

As I was putting With-a-Why to bed tonight (he sleeps in his sister's room instead of the boys' room while she is gone at college because his brothers stay up later than he does), he kept saying, "Can't I sleep by the fire?" On Fridays and Saturdays, most of the kids do sleep on the living room floor, partially because there is really no where else to put them all, but also because they like to be near the fire. And I admit, I sleep on the floor by the fire sometimes myself. There is something wonderfully reassuring about drifting off to sleep in the presence of all those glowing red coals.


Jane Dark said...

It is true. When I was growing up, we had huge bonfires; they lasted two or three days, and sometimes more. It created ultimate, if temporary peace, between my brothers and I; we rarely slept in our beds, hardly entered the house, when the bonfire was going.

Friday Mom said...

We finally have some fall weather here. If it stays cool, we'll be having a fire tonight too. Just love your descriptions here....so warm.

ccw said...

We have been building fires for about a week now and I have been napping on the ottoman in front of the fireplace. What a wonderful way to sleep!

Scrivener said...

What I especially love about a fire is that it makes relaxing in a comfy chair - or on the floor with some big pillows - seem like a meaningful occupation. I can spend hours just staring into the flames.

I guess it beats lying on the floor, complaining about hot it is in the summer time?

I had to wear long sleeves today, so it's really winter time now.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

We always had fires in the fireplace when I was a kid. We toasted marshmallows and hotdogs and my father brought "pistils" home from work and threw them in the fire to make pretty colors (one of us when we were small couldn't say "crystals" and they became pistils ever after). We slept by the fire on Friday and Saturday nights, sometimes, and my father would read to us by the fire every night.

We have a fireplace here in Grosse Pointe Farms, but we don't use it, probably because Susan thinks it's too messy.

Maybe I'll come to YOUR house when you have a fire, and reminisce. Mary

(PS I thought cosy was spelled cozy. ? DUH!)

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Hey, cosy and cozy are two variant spellings of the same word, Iguess I'm not so dumb.

I love your posts, jo(e)


Running2Ks said...

That does sound downright cozy, and like the warmth of the fire is a big hug :)

DaniGirl said...

Reading this post and your behind the couch one before it makes me less sad about leaving behind the days of diapers and preschool. There's a lot to look forward to!

Rana said...

The lack of a fireplace is one of the few things I dislike about our rental house.

My parents' house has a _huge_ fireplace that can be used to heat the house. The mantel is as high as your head, and it's surrounded by stones as large as your head. The best part about it is sitting on the hearth after a shower, feeling the warmth against the small of your back and the warm air blowing out of the grill at your head. Bliss.

Usually there's a cat wanting to lie near it too. :)

jo(e) said...

Danigirl: Oh, yes, there's lots to look forward to. Teenagers are fun.

Mary: I think cosy is the British spelling. I always prefer British spellings. And yes, you have to come enjoy my fire sometime soon.

Scrivener: I do spend lots of time lying on the floor no matter what the season. And I recall you wearing long sleeves and a fleece in JUNE so I'm not sure you wearing long sleeves is proof of any kind of seasonal change.

peripateticpolarbear said...

I slept in front of my fire last night! But I didn't do it with such poetic thoughts!

halloweenlover said...

My one requirement when house hunting (besides the obvious requisite bedrooms) was a fireplace. I refused to compromise on that fact. I believe that a crackling fire with hot chocolate and a blanket make the long winters tolerable and enjoyable.

Beautifully put, Jo(e).