Monday, January 13, 2014

porch lantern


~~http://www.etsy.com/shop/estatesaletreasures
There has always been a lantern on the porch, hanging near the door.   Not always the same lantern, weather and clumsiness took a tole on then and evert few years there was a new one usually red, sometimes silver or green, some used lamp oil and a few used candles.
There was always a tin box of wooden matches that had been dipped in paraffin to keep them from getting damp, it worked pretty well.  Coming home to  see that lantern even though it wasn't lit, on a winters day when the sky was low, there was a cold rain, and the sun had set before I got there was reassuring. Soon there would be a fire and a meal and the rest of the world would be far, far away, until morning anyway.

That latern was there in case one had to make the long walk down to the little house out back.  Not that we didn't have indoor plumbing, and not that there wasn't an electrified railroad lantern hanging on both the front and back verandas.  There were times when it was necessary and times when it was an adventure or more like a challenge for us "city kids".   City kid being defined as someone who could see their neighbors house, not especially  so in my case when the leaves were still on the trees.

Once a cousin set fire to the out house, it wasn't really the lantern, it was a dropped cigarette, but it still became a family joke.   No laughing matter however when a cousin who really was from the city, was frightened by something, and hurled the lantern at it setting the smoke house on fire. 

Sitting on the veranda in the evenings listening to the the bob whites  calling down by the stream that ran through the cow pasture, the sputtering lantern and my chair creaking with even the slightest movement, dreaming I would grow old here.  My grandchildren and may-be great grandchildren would come to know the solitude,  and freedom.   

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