Precious Times

by Lisa Cole

I have many favorite childhood memories. There is one that is so vivid and clear. It is when I got to stay at my Mamaw Papaws's house. The weather was very cold outside and they would turn off the gas heaters at bedtime (I am guessing for safety and to not waste propane). My Papaw had built that house little by little over the years and there wasn't much insulation so the house would get cold very quickly. Mamaw would get us grandkids off to bed and then pile quilt after quilt on top of us until we couldn't move. No joke. We couldn't move but gradually warmed up. I can remember the smell of the homemade quilts and the weight of them. Some nights, I could hear the howling of wolves or coyotes in the woods (in my young mind I thought they were wolves) and my heart would pound as I listened closely to try and tell if they were getting any closer. But I would gradually fall asleep, safe and secure in that little playroom where we slept. When it was morning, they would turn back on the flame in the heaters and I can remember sitting on the cold floor, wrapped in a quilt, trying to get close enough to the heater to get warm but not too close. We would watch early morning cartoons or The Three Stooges while Mamaw made us cinnamon rolls. It was always dark when we all got up but gradually, light would start to glow through the windows. I love this memory. I felt safe and happy. The bittersweet part of such memories is that you can never go back. Growing up isn't nearly as fun as we thought it would be and life proves to be a great deal harder. So when I get a flash of such wonderful memories, I smile as my heart aches. It was an enchanting time.

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