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October Wind

I remember when I was a very little girl, and cold weather came.

I would be standing on my wooden box in the kitchen from which I could reach the sink to do the evening dishes. Mommy and Daddy would be sitting in our living room, when Mommy would suggest that we have a fire in the fireplace.

“We don’t need a fire, Jim, put on your sweater,” Daddy would answer.

Forgetting my dishwater, I would go to climb in Daddy’s lap, and beg him to build us a fire. My argument said that we had not had a real blaze since last year, and if he did start one, Mommy might take out the box of flakes which we always threw into the fire to make it all different colors – blue, purple, yellow, red, and orange.

Daddy is a tease, but after a while as Mother smiled, and I began to pout a bit, he rose and walked through the sunroom to the woodpile.

Returning to the living room to find Mother still rocking and me sitting on the floor trying to fix a doll cap to my dog Flippie’s head, Daddy would remark, “I can’t see why we have to have a fire… if it’s that cold, it’s time to turn on the heat.” Mother and I said nothing.

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Placing the logs in the grate, my Daddy would take a few papers to stuff between the sticks. Mother would go and fetch the colored flakes.

After the flame was well underway, and the colors – blue, purple, yellow, red, and orange – were licking the mouth of the fireplace, I would curl up on Daddy’s lap once more. The three of us, Daddy, Mother, and I sat there and gazed into the fire, not saying too much, just sitting there and gazing into the fire. Flippie would fall asleep near the screen, for she liked the warmth of the place.

Now, Mother would remind me that the dishes were still awaiting my attention, and sadly, I turned toward the kitchen. The dishwater was cold, but I could easily warm it – and besides, we had a fire.

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Standing Pat in its second number marks the anniversary of the first issue’s publication, just over a year ago. Handset by the editor, Standing Pat is edited and published by Patricia Jeanne Culley of Arlington 7, Virginia.

From Aurora Private Press

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