Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cook Stove

I spent some time at my farm last week, where the snow is piled high and spring seems a long way in the future. I heat my shack with a wood stove, a cook stove that not only provides a place to fry some eggs and heat up a pot of beans, but provides a wonderfully warm heat for the little building.

The temperature dipped to minus twelve one morning, and minus fifteen another. And yet, with these challenging temperatures the cook stove, with sticks of oak and black cherry wood, soon warmed the place to a comfortable level.

I sat near it, in my old rocking chair, and remembered when I was a kid how my dad sat near our old cook stove on cold mornings. And when a neighbor came to visit on a cold winter day, my dad and he would sit by the cook stove and spin stories and reminisce about earlier times when winters were more fierce and the cold more treacherous, at least in their memories. So the wood burning cook stove not only warmed the room, provided a place to cook and bake, but provided a center piece for socializing and being neighborly.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: There is something special about the heat from a wood burning stove.

My newest book, CAMPFIRES AND LOON CALLS: TRAVELS IN THE BOUNDARY WATERS is in the bookstores. My son, Steve and I have canoed in the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota for 25 years. This is our story. Go to: for more information, including an interview.


March 2, 7:00 p.m. River Falls Library. Smithsonian’s “Key Ingredients: America By Food.” Farming History.

March 5, 3:00 p.m. City Hall, Platteville (Old Farm). 7:00 p.m. Museum-405 E. Main: (Horse Drawn Days.)

March 6, 2:00 p.m. Pioneer Dinner, Milton House Museum, Milton: Remembering our Rural Heritage.

March 9, 11:45-12:30 Larry Meiller Show, Wisconsin Public Radio: Campfires and Loon Calls.

March 11, 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 12, 3:30 p.m. Canoecopia, Alliant Center, Madison: Campfires and Loon Calls.

March 15, 10:30 a.m. Eager Free Library, Evansville, WI.

March 15, 7:00 p.m. Barnes and Noble, Madison West. Launch for Campfires and Loon Calls.

March 17, 2:00-4:00. Monroe Arts Center, Monroe. Memories into Memoirs—Writers’ Workshop.

March 17, 7:00 p.m. Monroe Arts Center. Our Rural Heritage.

March 20, 7:00 p.m. Lebanon Historical Society, Fire Station, New Lebanon. Horse Drawn Days.

March 29, 7:00 p.m. Manawa Public Library, In a Pickle.

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