Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Winter Nights

     That first winter in New York was cold. We had a little wood stove in the living room that did its best to keep our drafty trailer warm. Even so the warmth from the stove did not reach our bedrooms.
     Mom sewed some extra big flannel night clothes for John and me, and our bedtime rituals would include snuggling on either Daddy or Mom's lap before being tucked into our bunk-bed under cozy comforters Mom had made that fall.
     On one particular night it was extremely cold, so Daddy lit the kerosene space heater and set it into our bedroom. As I lay in the top bunk I could see the glow of the heater and with the added warmth I soon drifted off to sleep.
     When the next morning arrived I slept right through breakfast and by noontime my parents were genuinely concerned that I was still sleeping, after efforts to wake me up failed they had to call someone to come take them and their sick daughter to the hospital. Imagine their pain when the doctor informed them that I had been poisoned by the fumes from the heater and gave them very little hope of my survival.
      God was watching over them and by evening I was awake, extremely weak, but on my way to recovery.
      It wasn't long before our routine was back to normal, and our evenings would be filled with various projects, puzzles, bedtime stories, singing, and popcorn. Life was good, Daddy and Mom loved, and worked, and played with us. What more could any child want?
      There was a lasting consequence to the poisoning though, ever since that day my sense of smell is gone.

12 comments:

  1. Those heaters are so potentially dangerous and we still hear about holiday makers suffering from fumes poisoning in a holiday let. Glad you were all right.

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    1. They are dangerous! We don't use them in our house because we don't want to risk having unwanted fumes.

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  2. I wonder how many kerosene fume stories you will hear. I slept one night in a room heated only be kerosene, and was deathly ill the next day.
    And, thanks for stopping by.

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    1. Sadly, I think stories involving bad experiences with kerosene heaters are far too common.

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  3. So glad you survived! We never had kerosene in our (my grandparents) home, but we used natural gas heaters. Still, our (mama and my) bedroom and my brother's was always cold in winter. So glad to have central heat and air now. Luxury!

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    1. Central heat and air was a great invention!

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  4. So sorry to [track down and] read that your childhood memory posts were suddenly erased! But honestly kind of grateful I get to be present to start at the beginning of the recounting once more. Thanks for noticing my awkward blog and commenting such a welcome into the world of home-making. Very encouraging to a nobody. :)

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  5. That drafty trailer may have been a saving grace, just enough fresh air perhaps. You remind us that getting up in the morning is truly a miracle in itself.


    They say missing one of the senses can make a person really work the other ones to make them keener than people with all five.

    Any stories of youth when no sense of smell mattered? Or perhaps there is a story of you being able to detect something (tactile, hearing, tasting or vision wise) others like maybe little brothers or classmates couldn't?

    Sorry if it wasn't easy for you, the question is meant as food for thought. You just seem like a person who turns her challenges into postives. Love the stories!


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    1. The drafty trailer could very well have been a blessing!

      I don't think I have other heightened senses, but who knows? There are times when something has an odor strong enough that I can taste it.

      A lot of people have tried telling me I'm not able to taste things as well as "normal" people because smell aids in tasting.

      I can't tell if that's true for me or not though I think I can taste just fine. :)

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  6. Wow,thank God you were ok!! It is so scary that those kinds of heaters are so frequently used. People don't know of the dangers.

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    1. I wish everyone would be aware of the dangers they present when used in a house.

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Thank you so much for taking time to comment. I love hearing your thoughts.