Time to stay near the fire in Lorraine
Winter has really started now in Lorraine. We have had a bit of snow near Nancy and more in the moutains. And the last two days' mornings were cold (-9°C, 16°F).
The worst happened yesterday evening when black ice arrived on the region. It became a huge ice rink. People were advised not to go out and to wait for the morning to use their car.
At least it was during the week end and people could stay at home near the fire place or near a wood stove (which is fashionable again).
I remember the wood stoves we had at home when I was young, the heat was so pleasant. Of course, adults had all the job to do, cutting the wood, bringing it in, taking the ashes out, cleaning regularly, but we were not cold inside and we sometimes opened the window because it was too hot! One stove was enough for two rooms if they were small, even in the middle of the winter.
The stove I particularly liked was the one in the kitchen. There was always a stewpot or a casserole on it and my grand-mother was checking everything was going on well. The bar on three sides was very useful to put wet gloves to dry in winter. In the evenings we put chestnuts on the top and enjoyed eating them after dinner.
People coud go away and let something simmering on the side. My grand-father used to tell the story of his neighbour who had to keep an eye on the stove when his wife had gone to church. The man was a bit absent-minded and one day, when the woman came back home, she discovered he had put a piece of wood in the soup pot instead of the stove! The poor husband rushed outside and visited my grand-father waiting for the storm to calm down.
Good old times.