By Sylvia Wur – Saskatoon, Sask.
One cold winter evening at the end of March we three children were sitting around the kitchen table. Having finished our homework, we were waiting for our father to return from the barn where he was bedding down the livestock.
Mother wasn’t feeling well and was sitting on a chair with a blanket around her. We decided to keep the kitchen warm so we kept putting wood in the stove.
It was really getting warm and suddenly father burst into the room and yelled that the side of the house and kitchen stovepipes had a ‘pink glow’.
Mother jumped up, grabbed the geranium plants she was starting in pots on the windowsill, lifted off the stove lid and threw plants, soil and all into the stove. The fire was smothered and slowly went out.
My father and brother rushed outside and started shovelling snow up against the wall and stovepipes. We didn’t have a phone and the neighbours were at least three miles away so they had to do it themselves. Eventually they came back into the house and said they thought the fire was out.
Father sent us to bed but he stayed up all night to see if the fire would start up again. It was very cold without some heat in the house, but we bundled up with quilts and extra coats on top.
The big job the next day when the stovepipes had cooled down was to take them down and clean them out. What a mess! Then they had to be assembled again. Repair to the side of the house had to wait a month or more until nice weather arrived.
We kids got the lecture about “not to over-stoke the fire” but we were so pleased our father came back from the barn at that moment before it turned into a full scale fire.