Sunday, May 01, 2005

josie's pot belly stove

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The calendar may say that spring has arrived, but it's a cold and windy Sunday in northern Illinois. Earlier in the day rain and sleet skittered across the fields. as I drove west towards DeKalb. The tourist towns are filled with antique shops, but I prefer to drive the countryside looking for places like Josie's. Her farm sits back off the main highway, a quarter mile or so. If you've got a car with a fancy paint job you might want to think twice before driving through the gaunlet of huge evergreens that spill onto her road. There's a barn and two outbuildings filled with antiques, and her counter and cash register are the in smaller building, heated only by an old cast iron pot belly stove. The fire burns hot and warms me against the chill. Josie has baked fresh chocolate cookies and has them sitting on the counter for customers to help themselves. I remember back to childhood and visits to my aunts home, heated only by the woodburing cookstove in the kitchen. We slept upstairs, under a feather bed, and in the morning would run like the wind to warm ourselves in front of the stove.

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