Downhome Magazine

Rock For My Bed

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As you may recall, I told you earlier in one of my stories, our house had no central heating, no furnace or electric heaters. Back then, parents would never go to bed and leave fire in their kitchen stove, some would throw water into the stove at night to make sure. There was always a fear that you might be burned in your bed while you slept. Every winter somewhere in NL, this happened.

Mom would put beach rocks in the oven (some people used bricks or other things) after supper to warm so we could put them in our beds to keep our feet warm. Everyone knows when your feet are warm, you are warm. Mom would wrap the rocks in small pieces of cloth, old towels, remnants of old bed sheets. Her favourite was the legs of old winter underwear which were fleece-lined. We would take them upstairs to our own beds.

We each had our own rock and we would watch as mom wrapped them so we could grab our own when she was finished. This way you made sure you had your own. If you waited until they were wrapped you wouldn't be able to tell which was yours. My brothers and sisters would put the rocks underneath the covers and push them down to the foot of the bed. I would leave mine near the top and move it down in steps, to heat the whole bed. Smart, don'tcha think?

All of the rocks came from the little cove. I would search for the most unique looking bed-rock while I was helping Nan find her firewood in the summer. Beach rocks were the best because they were smooth all around with no sharp edges. Sometimes mom would pick them out when she was visiting the cove in summer, sometimes Nan did. Din Kelly would drop off a box of rocks at our house. The rocks had to be replaced now and then because they would crack after being heated so many times and then cooled down.

Cyril Griffin
New Perlican, NL

 
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