Childhood Memories – Wood Fires

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While many people dislike the smell of smoke from a wood fire and open burning is prohibited in many places, I find both the aroma of a good fire and the atmosphere it creates to be enjoyable.  It doesn’t matter if it is in a wood stove, in a fireplace, or in a campfire outdoors.  This probably relates to my early memories of wood burning at both of my grandparents’ homes.  Both heated with wood stoves as long as they resided in these homes.
One childhood memory is my uncle bringing a large load of firewood to my grandfather’s house early one fall.  I could have been no more than four or five years old but I had to get up in the truck and “help” my uncle and my father toss the wood out for stacking.  I “worked hard” until I smashed my fingers between two logs and that was the end of unloading wood.
Another memory is playing baseball with a cousin at my grandmother’s house.  Since there were only two of us we had no catcher (just a pitcher and a batter).  As a substitute, the batter always stood in front of stacked firewood which served the role of a catcher should the batter swing at a pitch and miss.  I’m sure the stack of wood didn’t help the baseballs but it served our purpose.
In both houses, I remember carrying wood into the house and putting it in the wood stove or stacking wood on the porch so it was convenient.  While the stove really didn’t heat the houses evenly (the room with the stove was usually very warm while the most distant room was cool at best), it was hard to beat the warmth and the aroma when you were close to the stove.

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