The Ole Cook Stove

 

The Ole Cook Stove

I have a fascination with antiques. I also have a dream that one day, I will be able to build or move a cabin to our ranch where I can use the antiques I have gathered to make a cozy guest accommodation. To add to my present collection, I recently acquired a beautiful old cook stove. I actually already have one in storage that I have been saving for the day I get the guest cabin up and running. However, I came across this opportunity to pick up this treasure and had the thought of putting it in my patio.

My dad, always up for an adventure and eager to help me out with my big ideas, was willing to go on the escapade to pick it up. Needless to say, it was a little heavy and took our front end loader to unload it. Once in place, I had the urge to fill it up with coal and light up the fire. I am feeling torn… like I am doing it a disservice by placing it outside in the elements and not respecting it for what it was created for in the first place.  

Thoughts spill through my brain as I process that old cook stove and all it represents: necessary heat, regular family meal times, fellowship with neighbors, tempting aromas and delicious homemade staples like bread and stew, a place to warm cold hands and dry wet mittens. Yet, it also represented the heart of the home… a place where the family gathered, to read, to sing, play games, or mend socks.

Another part the old cook stove played was its part in cooking meals for the threshing crew or baking for a new mother or a grieving friend. More importantly, the stove encouraged the generations to work together in order to supply daily sustenance; representing the realization of a possible harsh winter ahead and offering its heat for canning an assortment of meat, fruits and vegetables for the days to come.

Aside from the connectivity that the old stove represents, I am moved by the importance of working together as a family for a common end. There is something that happens when a family works together.   That connection goes deeper than having fun, going on holidays, watching movies together, etc. I remember days we worked together making meals, gathering garden produce or cutting up bushels of apples to make apple pies and the deep feelings of satisfaction that came as we completed the project we were working on – together. I treasure the many valuable lessons learned from my mom as we spent countless hours in the kitchen.

The ole cook stove brings me to pondering what we may have lost as time marches on. Maybe, just maybe, we ought to fire up that old friend and gather round once again; spending time with our family and friends and cultivating those precious moments we yearn for. Let the kitchen be the heart of the home where you can gather with loved ones and create loving memories that will bind your lives together in days to come.

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

Scripture reference: Deuteronomy 6:6-9

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