An Oven

December 10, 2010

Years ago, when we moved to this house, my husband rebuilt and restored an old six burner gas range that had once cooked meals for Camp Jabberwocky. The camp upgraded to something bigger and better, and the stove was passed from hand to hand until it ended up in ours.

I’m in love with a Garland range, and I don’t care who knows it.

I don’t like being cold. Ever. Which is unfortunate, since a) I live in New Hampshire, and b) We have no plans to move.

My Garland range gets very hot. I turn the shiny knob and hear the rush and poof of the gas igniting. I open the door, leaving it about three inches ajar. The heat pours into the room. If I’m particularly cold I stand and face the heat, holding my hands over the three-inch gap, toasting myself to near discomfort. Then I turn around and toast my backside.

It seems my warming habits don’t go unnoticed. One of my sons documented my gluttony for heat in an a writing assignment when he was 10. I loved it so much that I tacked it to the bulletin board, located just above the radiator in my office:

My mommy  keeps warm in this harsh weather by standing by the heater and not going outside unless its (sic) to warm up the car. Another way she stays warm is by standing by the oven when it’s heated up.

Evidently, I am a woman of ritual. That note was written nine years ago. I still start my car every cold morning before I get dressed, and I still turn that shiny knob on my beloved Garland range without thinking.

On a recent visit from my friend, Lorraine, I walked into the kitchen, turned the knob, toasted my front, and turned to toast my backside. Lorraine burst out laughing. A couple of months after her visit, she’s still talking about it. Evidently I look silly heating my buns in the oven.

A nice thing… a small, ritualized extravagance, however ridiculous it looks.

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8 Responses to “An Oven”

  1. I’m just jealous mine’s electric.

    My stove, not my butt.

  2. Yes, but Lorraine’s from Canada. That’s a whole ‘nother kinda cold.

  3. Collie said

    I lust after your Garland. Truly.

  4. Dale said

    Better to look ridiculous and be warm than to freeze on dignity. Just sayin’.

  5. OwlSaysWho said

    Any smart northerner will agree with Dale: In the winter, warmth trumps dignity – including fashion sense. It’s a hierarchy of needs thing . . .

  6. Chris Brown (not the felon) said

    I grew up in Montreal and used to stand on the heater outlets in the floor when I woke up in the morning. Or I’d lay down on one and toast a lucky, very small, part of my body. I lusted after your Garland too.

    It must be difficult having so many people covet a single piece of your kingdom.

  7. Amanda Mattoon said

    It’s true! I’ve seen it too- nothing like warm buns in the oven…

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