It would have been a day like today, raw and cold, and the wind driving the cold straight to the bones. All but the necessary outside work, milking the cow, feeding and watering the chickens, was laid aside and we gathered close to the heating stove. The closed door shut out the unheated air from the north room and soon the little front room began to warm despite the wind squeezing in around the window, giving movement to the curtain.
Uncle Dewey, Aunt Leola, and Baby Dane came for dinner and then stayed to visit in the afternoon. Mama sent Daddy to the smoke house for a chunk of meat, cut off of the sugar cured ham hanging from the rafters, and then he went down into the cellar for potatoes. She also cooked dried peas, buttermilk biscuits and red eye gravy, and finished off the meal with more biscuits spread with sweet butter and blackberry jelly. While the women cleaned the kitchen, Daddy put more coal into the heating stove, and then he and Uncle Dewey took out their tobacco pouches and cigarette papers, rolled cigarettes and sat around the radio, listening for any news about the war that was raging across the ocean, a world away from this rural home.
Baby Dane, two months old, and Charlotte, twenty months old, were asleep now, so the adults pulled up their chairs around the little table and poured out pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. They could have played dominoes, checkers, or Chinese checkers. They talked and laughed with one another as they put the pieces into place; the picture grew, and the warmth of their friendship pushed the cold away, and before long the sun slid lower in the west, the shadows grew long and Wanda came home from school.
Now Daddy went to the barn to do the evening chores and carried a fresh bucket of water up from the well. Wanda gathered the eggs, Mama put Charlotte in the swing hanging from the door frame while she warmed up the leftovers, and then the family settled in for another cold night.