My grandmother had a wood burning stove. She had to get up in the morning, when it was so cold, water in a glass sitting on the floor beside my bed was frozen. Granddaddy would bring in the kindling wood to start the fire, and she would have enough biscuits, gravy, sausage, eggs cooked, with jelly and Yellow Label syrup to eat before he had to go out to feed and water the livestock and hunting dogs, horses and pigs. (You know the Yellow Label sat on the table all the time. It never got put away.) Any extra biscuits she buttered, sugared and kept in a basket lined with one of her white flour bags and sweet potatoes full of churned butter and sugar.
Granddaddy (who we called PapPaw) always had a cup and saucer for his Louisianan Coffee with Chicory. When the coffee was too weak, he would sit it on the floor. He would tell Grandmother (who we called Big Mama) the reason he sat it on the floor, “it was so weak, he didn’t want it to faint and fall off the table.”
All the morning revolved around the STOVE. I miss the two of them, and the STOVE…