I took a trip today. A danged “cold” has been kicking my rear end for about a week now. Today at lunch after eating a quick couple pieces of takeout pizza, I took an old empty box in which our new fax machine came shipped and placed a roll of paper towels on top. I had constructed a perfect ottoman. Lights off and my space heater a’hummin , I was set; I left town.
This is how I write these silly stories. To me, it is like watching an old movie. The scenes start with an opening and then play themselves out in different directions. Sometimes I have to hit the replay button just like on the DVD remote and go in a different direction, but most of the time I let it take its own path of least resistance. I have found it a little unusual since I have been aware of how this works its way through, because the trip wants to start with a straight ladder back chair with a woven rope bottom. There were two of them, but one stayed in the lean to kitchen. This one stayed in the “house”, which is the main room of the structure. You can tell this is the main room because this is where the heater is; sitting right in front of the window. An oval shaped metal wood burning heater with a six inch thin wall blue metal smoke stack that started up toward the ceiling and then made a ninety degree turn toward this only window in the “house”. One of the window lights (pane) had been removed and an exact size sheet of metal had been fastened in its place. A hole, the size of the smoke pipe’s diameter had been cut in the center of this piece of metal to serve as an insulator for the hot stove pipe. A short horizontal run and another ninety degree turn of the pipe straight up and the smoke and vent problem was solved. The “house” chair rested to the left side of the heater. I suppose the light was better because the window would be over the left shoulder and this is where Daddy would sit and read pulp fiction western books after supper while I made “busy” with my “doings”. Many years of handling that chair with calloused hands had rubbed its unpainted surface to a mirror smooth finish. The pine trees outside the window would dance in its own reflection off the flat surfaces of the ladder-stay back supports when the light was just right. I seldom, if ever, remember when the light wasn’t just right.
Heat and light seem to attract life. It pulls your attention toward its energy and then gives it back to you. To me, there are many trips originating from that heater and small one hundred watt light bulb. This has not been the trip I took when today I put my feet up on that homemade ottoman, but as I alluded in some form or another, it started here. Where, often determines in which direction our journey begins and how or where it ends. Those trips will be forthcoming , if the light is just right and I seldom, if ever, remember when the light wasn’t just right.
My infant bathtub, salvaged from the era.