Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Hot and Cold (04/09/09)
TITLE: Back in the Day
By Glenda Lagerstedt
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My great grandparents were very wealthy people, and at their hilltop home they served a delightful beverage, far excelling other brands. It was served from a big barrel by the kitchen sink. On the hottest of days, we took the silver colored beverage server off the wall and filled it by dipping it into the cool refreshing liquid. Clear cold spring water gulped from a tin dipper in mid-August was no less than Heaven on earth.
The water was piped in from a spring directly above the house next to the vegetable patch. It ran continuously. The constant flow and drip was silenced by a beautiful green soda bottle that hung by a string from the faucet so that the water ran smoothly down the side of it and quietly into the barrel. I remember the night this bit of engineering was installed. There was a lot of genius in our family.
They had an amazing stove in the kitchen. Not only did it cook great grandmother’s tasty stews and delicious home-made bread, it also actually heated the house. A great invention, that stove. I remember the grown ups saying the unique design of that beloved home made it hard to heat but I don’t ever remember feeling cold in there. I rather recall sitting in front of the stove with the cousins and eating ice cream. Our feet were resting on the open oven door as we spooned down bowls of cold frozen dessert. The wind may have been howling outside but we were secure within the walls of love that surrounded us.
The bathroom was also a super wonder. It was located in its very own wooden house a few yards from the woodshed door. And it had not one, not two, but three toilets! Magically, they needed no plumbing. No ugly plunger marred the beauty of that room. In fact it was actually three toilets in one, as each of the round holes was created in the same wide board.
At our young ages the girl cousins and I had already developed the powder room instinct that women are so well known for. When one of us needed to use the bathroom we all went together and we each had our own toilet. What a great social time, many happy giggles echoing from the inelegant little structure.
Summer days were hot but I don’t remember suffering much during the socialization. The bathroom was wonderfully designed with spaces between the vertical boards. When that failed to be sufficient cooling, we kicked the door open. But we worked up quite a sweat screaming at the boys to “stay away or we’re telling on you!”
As the seasons moved forward and the days grew chill, such social gatherings became briefer and less frequent.
When extremely hot water and ice water are combined in the right proportion, they become warm. Warm are the memories of the rich little house in the hills. The house was bulldozed many years ago and one would never know that a little wooden bathroom was ever there. We were just poor little rednecks but we didn’t know it. We were indeed richer than kings.
Thank You, Lord, for the memories. And give Great Gram our love
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