This morning Jane over at Hard Work Homestead wrote a blog entry about wood heat. It reminded me of something that happened many years ago.
We were still living in Illinois but planning for our move up here to northeastern Minnesota where we knew we would be living for several years without electricity.
I did a lot of sewing but realized my old Sears electric sewing machine wouldn't be of any use once we made the move. One day I saw an ad in the local paper for an old-fashioned treadle sewing machine so I called about it and made an appointment for hubby and me to go see it.
The man and woman who had the sewing machine for sale were quite elderly and lived in a very small house that they heated with wood. We chatted with them for a while and although they didn't in any way complain or tell a sad story, we definitely got the feeling they were having a hard time of it and needed money.
The treadle machine looked to be in great shape including the lovely, old, carved wooden cabinet/table it was mounted in.
We agreed to buy the machine and I asked if the price I remembered from the newspaper ad was the correct amount they wanted.
The old gentleman said yes, they had hoped to get that amount, but if it was too much for us they could perhaps come down a bit.
My husband responded that he thought the sewing machine looked to be in such good condition that it was really worth more than the asking price and insisted on paying the couple a bit more for it. (We may not have had much money ourselves, but we had more than they did!)
We got our prize home and installed it in the living room. Right away I noticed that every time I walked by the machine, I could smell the wonderful aroma of wood smoke. It had been inside the old couple's home for so long that the wood smoke smell was an integral part of the wood.
Silly as it sounds, I found myself dropping to my knees in front of the wood cabinet, nose pressed to the wood and inhaling deeply a couple of times a day. Anyone looking in the window would have thought I was worshiping at an altar. In a way I was. I got into the habit of spending 30-45 minutes first thing every morning sewing on that treadle machine before our one-year old daughter woke up and wanted her breakfast. Nearly forty years later I still think back on and treasure the peaceful start to my day that old treadle machine gave me.