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Ice Box, Kerosene Heater and Dishes

March 3, 2012

This afternoon we went to Listowel to spend some quality time with family.  We had a great afternoon and heard some more choice antics which took place back when Bill and his brother were youngsters.  That is a blog for Bill,  MaryEllen and I just listened and laughed.

On the way there and back I fondly remembered another few things about my Grama.

She had a kerosene heater to heat her apartment.  If you have ever smelled kerosene,  you have never forgotten the odour.  I can’t explain it,  you had to be there,  but the minute I opened her door I knew if it was on or not.  I rather liked the odour,  not sure if it was actually the odour or just the feeling of being loved and safe at Grama’s home.  I’m even less sure why I even remembered it during the ride but I did.

Then there was the ice box she had,  not a fridge.  It was a two-part job, looked like the one in the middle only white,  door at the top to hold the ice and one at the bottom to store all the things which had to be kept cold.  Every Saturday morning an ice man commeth bringing a huge square chunk of solid ice.  He was holding it with a big, long-handled clamp.  He would put the ice in the ice box and go back to the truck for a minute.  He would then return with several small pieces of ice for us to suck on.  I’m sure if my mother had known that I was sucking on a chunk of ice she would have turned a strange colour.  My mom was the type to take a peppermint, put it between wax paper and pound the hell out of it before any of us could eat or suck on it.  She did this until we learned to eat them away from the house. We might choke you know.  For mother and daughter they were so alike in some things and totally different in others.

Grama had a system for everything including doing the dishes.  The dirty dishes went on the left of the sink and the clean ones on the right of the sink  Simple enough, she’d wash and I’d dry.  One day when the last of the dirty dishes went into the sink, I asked where she wanted the dry ones.  She told me since all the dirty ones were taken care of I could set them on the left counter.  I did.  A short time later after drying some five cups I began to wonder where she was found more dishes,  there was only two of us.   She told me off the left counter as usual.  I told her that was the clean and dry ones she told me to put there.  A few seconds of deafening silence followed by ” oops, I forgot”.   After that day, all dry dishes got put on a chair until the sink was emptied.

The mind works in strange ways – why do things like this come to mind when you are travelling?  I can sit here for an hour and the mind is jello but go for a drive and it races like a race car.  Oh well,  that gives me more to think about doesn’t it?

From → 50 + Years Ago

One Comment
  1. Great memories grow from the kitchens of our minds :)

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