Thursday, December 28, 2006

Home Fires Burning.

This year we went to my mother-in-law's house for Christmas. Besides being a pretty nice house overall, one of the specific things that makes it attractive is that it has three fireplaces.

This is the living room one, although it's hidden behind a chair we moved. About twenty years ago they had it converted to a gas fireplace, which is great because you don't need to keep adding wood to it, and when you want to leave the house, you just turn it off. It's a little strange to do that to a fire, but handy, and the heat is just as efficacious. We used it alot.

However, pretty much everyone preferred the family room fireplace:

This is a conventional wood burner, and once I got the fire going (I am the designated fire builder because I have an inexplicable knack for it-- Rich says it's the inborn Viking in me, laying the poor wee Scots to the flame), everyone snuggled down in there and we turened off the gas one. At one point Ian, Meg, Mom and I commented on it according to their personal priorities:

Ian: This one definitely has better audio feedback.
Meg: It's much cozier, and smells right too...
Mom: It's the real thing!
Me: Ahhhh.... blisssss.

The third fireplace is located in the basement rec room, but no one has used it in the past thirty years. When they built the house, Mom and Dad thought their kids would likely have parties down there, but both kids turned out to be less gregarious than that. That room became Dad's home office, but it was too cold. Someday it will work perfectly for someone though.

The older I get, the more lame I realise I am when it comes for decorating for Christmas. My in-laws are far better at it, and I appreciate their ability. My sister in law lives in a house built in 1830, and she puts candles everywhere. It always looks great. My mother-in-law used to do more, but for an 80-year old lady, she's not doing too badly with a false tree now instead of a real one. Here is her holiday table:

And here we are, in the mad rush to fill plates and weight it down:

I'm not going to post the picture of us afterward, lying around the fire like satiated walruses. But it was a good meal and a good four days of eating and lying around in heaps afterward with books. Hope yours was too!


Blogger The Clinging Vine said...

Lovely house your MIL has, Eleanor. ;^)

And I cherish the mental image of you lying around like a satiated walrus. I'm so sure!

Is that you on the left in the kitchen photo?

3:46 PM  
Blogger craigellachie said...

No that's my MIL who is 80-- she doesn't look it, does she? Next to her, SIL, The Optometrist. The guy on the right is her husband, a retired Untied Airlines pilot. Meg and Ian are in the background. I don't know where Rich was. I'm taking the picture so I don't have to be in it.

10:55 PM  

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