When I was a kid, we lived in a large farmhouse heated by wood during the day. There was, as I recall, a massive oil furnace in the basement, but by my count (I brought in all the wood – my memory) we heated with wood. Winters in Michigan were so cold. The wind would whip over the field in front of our house and blow into the old house. On school mornings, Dad would stand at the foot of the stairs and call us to wake up. I’d stick my foot out of my warm blankets and feel the cold wood floor.
He often had to call twice.
Sometimes, in the cold evenings, we’d all be drawn to the dining room which had an iron wood stove that could be piping hot. Sometimes, my mom would go into the living room and play her baby grand piano. It was always an indicator to me that she was in a good place and life was in order. The Ennea 6 “Loyalist” in me would feel safe and secure surrounded by the family I loved.
The song I remember most was the Turkish Rondo by Mozart. To this day, the song has a peaceful, calming effect on me.
As a parent, I can look back on that and know that it may or may not have been true that my mom was in a good place but it certainly is the meaning I made of that memory.
This memory came back to me the other night when, after working on a table in the garage, I went to the back and started a fire in the firepit. It was a lovely Texas January evening and my pipe and whiskey were calling my name. I was fully immersed in the flame when I heard my 8-year-old come around the corner, take one look and say loudly:
“Dad + Fire = Happy!!!”
Then, she pulled up a chair and sat down telling me (seemingly without having the need to actually breathe) how much she likes fire and if she were a Pokemon she would have to be a fire type.
Clearly, she too can interpret the mood of her parents.
Like father, like daughter.