Sunday, October 19, 2008

First Fire

They were givin' cold weather for last night, as my older neighbors say, and the temperatures were dropping. In the garden, I picked the last of my tomatoes, peppers, chard, and lettuce, then harvested a few more mushrooms. That done, I hauled my bounty to the house and lit the first fire of the season.

We always hold off as long as possible, shutting the windows a grudging one at a time and adding another layer of clothes rather than admit that the house is pretty chilly. The dogs and cats let us know it's time by curling up on pillows or, in the case of the cats, under a lamp.

There's a kerosene heater but with the price of fuel and the fact that we have lots of trees on the place, we are making an effort to heat mostly with wood as we did for years. It's more trouble and it makes a mess -- but people with six dogs and two cats are already used to that.

And the pleasure of watching the flames touches some core of primal delight. During this season as the hours of dark lengthen, and the air outside grows cold, the pleasure of a warm place by the fire is a pleasure we share with our earliest ancestors.

What a miracle it must have seemed to those early folk who learned how to capture and keep fire! And what a joy it still is!

As is the sight of a nice wood pile with its promise of warmth to come.

And while we're on the subject of heat -- Miss Susie Hutchins, the black and white kitty, was in search of warmth last night and when I left my laptop open and running while I attended to my printer, she curled up on the keyboard.

I returned and shooed her away to find that she had somehow activated Google desktop and now I had a little window that gave the high and low temperatures for the day -- in San Francisco.

I wonder what she's planning?
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Carol in Mississippi said...

I'm looking at that Fireplace thinking 7 more days and I get to see my beloved mountains!I hope the leaves are strut'n their stuff!

Vicki Lane said...

The leaves are beautiful -- but not quite at their peak. We didn't get that freeze which would have brought out the reds. Maybe by the time you're here . . .

Susan M. Bell said...

Is Miss Susie planning a trip to a warmer climate you reckon? Cats are a sneaky lot.

We have a fire place that we currently cannot use. My husband plans on putting in gas logs. One of my cats, Blondie, loves heat so I'm betting that when we are able to do that, we'll always find him right there in front of the fire.

Vicki Lane said...

Heaven knows what Miss Susie Hutchins has in mind. If I see her with a flower in her hair (semi-obscure pop music quote from the 70s), I'll definitely worry.

Susan M. Bell said...

Well, she'll have to wait until summer, won't she? Maybe she's getting a jump start on the trip planning. :)