Ahhh… Sunday morning in Houston, Texas. Supposedly the temperature outside is 71°F, but inside it’s a nippy 65°F. Yes, nippy, damnit! I didn’t move south to feel chilly.
The thing I like most about living in Texas (over Florida) is that there’s more of a change in seasons here. Leaves actually do fall from trees, and there’s a real possibility (though not probability) of snow once in awhile. This is a good thing in that it allows me to edge my way into feeling… let’s call it homey.
This is the time of year when instead of clicking through the holiday tunes that are always on my iPod, I let them play out. It’s also the time of year I think more and more about my island home in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Sugar Island is where Mum grew up, and where I spent every single summer of my own childhood.
So why do lower tempuratures in Texas remind me of a summer place in Michigan? Ha! You jest. I said it was in the 70s and chilly here. 70° a perfect summer day Up North. The chilly feeling reminds me, not of the summers we spent almost entirely in the water, but the winters when we would visit my grandma on the Island.
Gram heated her house with a kitchen wood stove. The chimney ran up through the middle of the house, and on chilly mornings I can remember running to press my body against that upstairs brick wall before making the mad dash down to the warmth of the kitchen.
In the living room there was a second wood burning stove that was only fired up during really cold weather. It would blow hot air out from the bottom, and after breakfast you could almost always find me sitting in front, toes tucked under the edge. Someone was always telling me to get back before I burned myself.
We have nothing like that here, unless I count the puny gas fireplace that does nothing but draw what heat we do have right up the chimney. I can almost see the dollar signs as they float up and away. No, instead of snuggling around a smoky smelling wood stove, here I huddle next to my electric stove for the few minutes it takes to make my morning coffee.
As the water heats enough to boil up and collect in the reservoir, I cup my hands over the burner as if it were a tiny bonfire. If I close my eyes and focus on the warmth permeating my hands, I can almost remember the feeling of cold mornings at Grandma’s Roy’s. It’s one of my favorite memory places.