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Old-fashioned Comforts

Old-fashioned Comforts image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Our aiicestors wtre a frugal, selt-denying people, ïnured to hardships from the eradle; they were content to be without almo&t the luxuries of life, bui they eujoved sorne of its comforts to which many of na nre straogers; and among these, the old fire place, as it used to be termed, htld no mean rank. How vividly the picture of one of those spacious kitehen8 of the olden time comes to our m'md, with its plain furniture and sanded floor, innocent of paint, but as white as the neatest of housewivea could make it ! In one corner stood the old clock, its very face wear ing an aspect of good cheer, and seeming to smile benignantly upon a minia ture moon over its head, which, tradition said, had at a remote period followed the rising and setting of itsgreat prototype iu the heavens, though itg days of nctive service were long ago over. But the orowning glory of that kitchen was not its white sanded floor; nor the high desk, with its pigeon holes and secret drawers, which no venturesome youngster daré invade ; nor yet tbe old clock, ticking so musically in the corner ; but it was the old-fashioned fire place, with its bluzing emburg, huge buck logs, and iron fire-dogs, that sLed a glory over the wholo room, gilded the plain aud homely furniture with it bright light, and rendered the place a fit, typo of true homes in " ye olden timen." Never were there such apples as those which swung round and round upon strings before tbe bright fire f a winter's evening, never sueh baked potatoes as those biivied deep in the ashee upon the hearth, never such corn cakes as those which caught a blazing hue from the blazing mbers, or turkeys llkre those turned upon a spit, filling the room with savory odors so suggestive of a dainty repast. Before the fire was the wooden settle, and here the children were wont to iset in the long evening, telling stories, cracking puts, conning their lessons for the morrow, or listening in sileaee to the words of wisdotn that feil from the lips of thuir superiors, and anon gazing in silence into tbe bright fire. and conjuring up all gtirts of grotenque images iimong the bui'uing coals. No fabled genii, with their magie lamps of enchantment, could build such gurgeoug palaces or créate such gems as the cbild could diecern among the bhizing embers of the old fashioned fire place. Aud we must not neglect the chimney corner, where sat our grandfathor in his iiccustomed seat, his hair silvered with the snow of many winters - a venerable man, to whom old age had come " frostily arid kinrtly," and whose last days were like those of an Indiau unimer, even till the stars appeared in heaven. How pure was the air if the room in those days! The huge fire placo, with its brick draught, c;irried off the impurities of the atmosphere, and left the air pure, Hle-giviög and healthful. - Now, we crouch around hot cooking stoves, and think it strango that we feel so stupid and drowsy of an evening; or we huddle about air tight stoves, and wonder that tbe air seems burnt and iiupure; or we sit down in chilly rooms heated by a turnace, and marvel that with all onr coslly furniture, soft carpets, bright mtrroivt and damask cuitains, they aré such cheorless place - so unüke oul' ideas of home. Alas ! that with the so called improvemontsol ouiailv,incod civilization, the fire sbould be pniif;ed to go out forever in our old-fanhioned fire-places, thtu burying in the aehes of the pasi go rnairy means of health, homo comfort, good cIihoi' and happiness. Let the hearth firo be occasionally kindled in the old homestead, and friendo and aíjuaintances be invited to meet in the social uircle. We often think that thu nest generation will know eoinparutively little of the rural eiijoyment.s of home whiuh are so indelibly impressed on the minds of thost who have shared in the pleusuron of the home circle around the big fireplace.


Old News
Michigan Argus