When I was asked to edit the monthly newsletter, I agreed, but said I thought it should have a name. Marijo (our President) said, "Fine, name it."...So I did.
I thought about it for awhile and finally came up with "Kindling', pronounced 'Kindlin' in our part of the country. Kindlin' was used to start the seasoned oak and hickory logs burning. It was called "litered" or "litered knots" and comes from the stumps of pine trees. It is very plentiful in this area. It lights easily and burns very hot, just the thing for starting a roaring fire.
Grandpa would get up before daylight to kindle a fire in the fireplace to drive the chill from the old frame house with the 'spit thru the cracks' floors. Grandma would be in the kitchen kindling a fire in the woodstove. She had to make a big breakfast of biscuits, bacon and tomato gravy for the family. She made extra biscuits and bacon to be packed in syrup buckets for school and work lunches.
About mid-morning Grandma would kindle a fire under the big, black washpot to boil a load of clothes. This washpot, lye soap and a long stick was her version of a washing machine.
Then on a cold day in February, the folks would gather for a hog killing. A fire was kindled under the dipping vat to boil water to dip the slaughtered hogs in. Dipping the hogs made it easier to scrape the hair or bristles from them.
A fire was kindled under a big pot to boil down or "render" the lard from the sow belly. The remaining 'cracklins' were used to make that delicious cracklin' cornbread'.
A fire was kindled at the smokehouse to smoke the new hams and bacon.
Then there was the Saturday night barn dance. A blazing bonfire was kindled and between dances or "tips", as they were called, the men would gather around the fire to swap stories and take a sip of "homebrew". Many new friendships were kindled and old friendships were re-kindled here.
Kindlin' was a very important word 100 years ago. Most days started and ended with it. It isn't used much today, but is much too good a word to just throw away. So.... for our departed kinfolks and upcoming kinderlings, I am re-kindling "KINDLING".
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