On A Cold Winters Night


It was a bitter cold winter night. The wind was howling from the north. The windows rattled and the screen door banged back and forth on the back porch wall.

Dad said “Maybe some popcorn will help warm thing up a little”. He went to the kitchen, opened the iron lid on the cook stove and with a poker he broke up the charred logs in the bed of coals. He added several small shovels of corn cobs to get a fast hot fire. He took the round iron stove lid off and put the skillet directly over the flames. It didn’t take long for the skillet to get hot. He put several tablespoons of grease in the skillet. When the grease got hot he added several handfuls of popcorn. In a little while a kernel popped slowly at first then all at once furiously the hundreds of kernels exploded.

When the big dishpan was heaping full of the fluffy white popcorn, dad poured melted butter on it and stirred and salted it. It was hot and buttery and everyone could eat all they wanted. We sat next to the stove on the floor in the living room with the dishpan next to us as we enjoyed the popcorn.

Mom knitted and rocked in her high backed rocking chair. She learned to knit when she was in grade school. It was one of the required classes. She said she was the best knitter in school and I believe she was. As an adult she was known for her knitting skills.

When the clock struck eight thirty it was time for bed. Mom stuck the needles in the ball of yarn and put it in the basket.. Dad put another log in the stove to bank it for the night and partially closed the dampers.

The bedroom was so cold we could barley unbutton our clothes. In our underwear we crawled into bed and said our prayers. We pulled the feather bed over our head and left just a little space to breathe. Our teeth were still chattering but before long the warmth of the covers let us relax and slowly doze off .

After we all got into bed, dad took the kerosene lamp from its holder and blew out the light.

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