Granny's Notes - the writing of Sue Gerard

With majestic effort, Dad rescued stove

Friends shared utensils and supplies from their own kitchens, and Mrs. Pace and other neighbors gave Mom a kitchen shower.

Dad built a small wooden box cabinet outdoors that wild animals couldnít open. The telephone company installed a unit in our tent, using the old phone number. Contact with the dairy customers was a priority because some ordered specials - whipping cream, coffee cream, etc. - for weekend entertaining. One woman even bought a pint of milk on order for her cat.

Special orders were often made by telephone, and some of the customers were not aware of the great difficulties because of the fire.

Telephone workmen promptly installed and mounted our phone on the tall tree stump that was also a tent pole. They cut the tree so it was much taller than either Mom or Dad.

Eight-nine-seven-black was our telephone number again, and there were eight phones on the same line with different numbers. Mother and other women didnít talk endlessly. Calls to the dairy were short business calls.

One morning, Dad had a great idea, a surprise for Mom, but he couldnít be certain that it would work. He and the hired men led the team right into the horrible trash mess that had been the kitchen. They cleared a sort of path into what had been our long, narrow kitchen. They stumbled right into the horrible trash with the hired men moving things that were in the way.

Occasionally they stopped and threw things out. We all watched and wondered.

They stopped in the middle of the horrible mess that remained where Momís kitchen used to be - where the cookstove once stood. Dad stopped the team and hooked up to something in that horrible mess.

He had some private talk with his team, and then they leaned into a heavy job when he gave the signal. Two hired men were pulling burned things out of the ashes and hitching the team to something huge at ground level. Dad gave the signal, and the team squatted low. A huge cloud of ash obscured the object that was beginning to move out of the ashes and trash.

The men were covered with ashes, and so was the team and the huge thing they were moving. They stopped to rest, the dust settled, and the men and the team took a long breather. Dad and the men were covered with ashes, but we were delighted to recognize the Majestic Range. Momís big cookstove had survived the fire.

We volunteered to help clean the range.

The team pulled that kitchen range out of the trash, ashes, burned pots and pans and onto the grass in a shady place. "Majestic" could be made out after the majority of the junk was swept from what had been Momís cookstove. We were able to scrape and dig and work on that treasure it, and one Pyrex dish.

The dish had folded without breaking. The stove was finally used until the new house was almost ready to have us move in.

The stove was junked, but we moved to the Aladdin before the partitions were in because it was almost done and October was, as usual, unpredictable.

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