My furnace hasn’t worked in over a week. (Before you feel too sorry for me, let me add that I’ve been gone most of that time and it hasn’t been that cold in central Ohio.) It was getting pretty chilly in the house when my parents brought over something from my childhood — the electric space heater.
Firing up that space heater and seeing its toaster-like elements turn orange took me back to my grade-school years. The family room in the house where I grew up was always cold in the winter; the sliding glass door, which we used as our main entry, probably didn’t help. There were many drawings made in the condensation that formed on it daily. I often wanted to sit on the floor and eat my breakfast in front of the space heater, but was never successful in convincing Mom that the floor was a proper place to eat one’s breakfast.
What I remember most about that heater wasn’t how warm it made me feel while eating my oatmeal. It was how it kept me warm on the way to school.
The walk to school was only three blocks, but it felt like miles when there was snow on the ground. What was worse was when the snow was melting and the sidewalks were covered in a thick layer of icy slush. On those snowy, slushy mornings, I would lay down my boots in front of the heater and point the tops toward those glowing orange wires. If I remembered to do that before I started breakfast, my feet would stay warm most of the way to school.
Funny how even a small appliance can bring back memories. What unexpected things have brought back a childhood memory for you?