The Stove

This was my mom’s play stove growing up.

You know those kitchen sets kids play with when they are small? I had one that had actual running water! Ok, so it was a tiny reservoir that circulated the water when you pushed down on the lever.  The whole thing was made of cardboard, but MAN did I think I was the cat’s pajamas with that kitchen unit! Oh, the meals I created! Santa did an amazing job that year.

Sitting in random places in our houses growing up was the cast iron stove for kids. I do remember it having at least three of the circular metal pieces that covered the burners and at least two pots and some sort of extension on the one side. Who knows where those pieces ended up?

The thing is, I never played with it. Maybe once or twice outside but nothing of great note. I was a child in the era new plastic toys and I lusted after an easy-bake oven. I think this stove scared me. My mom would tell stories of how she would have it outside and would start a fire in it to bake mud cakes and pies that she would then decorate with flowers and leaves to serve her dolls (She was a doll girl, I was never an overly doll girl except for Chrissy and Barbie).

A FIRE? My small brain (ok and my adult brain also) would think. Were your parents insane? I was taught at a very young age you do NOT touch matches (my dad smoked a pipe, and they were all over the house). Did her parents just hand her matches and say ‘ta ta go have fun’? And yes, pretty much that was it. My grandmother was taking care of her mom who had had a stroke and lived with them. My mom was a middle child of two boys and that kept her busy.

When I was in my early 30s, my mom insisted that I take the Stove. Not going to lie, I didn’t want it and had no idea what I would do with it. But I took it and it made her happy. Years later I get it. It was such an important part of her childhood and growing up. It contained so many memories for her that she wanted to pass that along and try to preserve it. I wish she would have written those down; instead I have the Stove in my garage. Maybe if you stop by this spring, I will make you some baked mud pies.

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