CPR Section House

CPR Section House

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Our Stove Pipe Hole

There were two configurations for placing the stovepipes that came from the front room coal oil heater . They were put up each fall and taken down for cleaning and storage each spring .

Configration 2
 Once the pipes were assembled to cross the front room and hung from the ceiling with wires , the elbow would be placed to bring the pipe into the flu either by ascending straight through the pipe hole in ceiling into the bedroom where it could turn into the brick flu above . Or it could enter the flu in the front room directly.

The first arrangement heated the bedroom directly from the pipe . The second left the stovepipe hole open so heat would seep slowly upstairs through it .

This second formation left an open hole in the bedroom floor which caught us often with a foot or leg dangling into the room below. It was only about 10 inches in diameter . There was no fear of Sis or I falling through , but little brother at 3 years of age did manage to get stuck a few times . Mum to the rescue .

As well , it served as an easy shout-through to Mum or Dad downstairs . Rather than go down to talk , we would place our faces into the hole and carry on a conversation . " Mum, I can't find my socks !"

During summer , when there was no stove pipe below , we used it as a spy-hole to watch our parents and visitors . You could hear every word clearly...even at night when we were supposed to be asleep in our beds .

However most memorable experiences with the hole came with my brother attached .

During his 'terrible twos,threes and fours', he had a fascination with this household feature .It was hard to keep him away from it . He was always dropping things down the hole - most things were minor , but major objects did find their way below , too. I am thinking of two in particular .

One summer , Mum was working at the dining table on Rec Council business with papers spread about her . Just as she leaned back to stretch , a huge rock ( a six inch , one pound hunk of conglomerate) landed on the table right on top of the papers she had been leaning over only seconds before . We refer to the incident as 'the day my brother almost killed Mum' . Although she may have felt like killing my brother , he did survive . The rock was confiscated to the location that all things-that-fall-through-the-hole ended up .

The other object that dropped through the hole was not as pleasant as the rock and drove us insane for weeks . One winter , when the pipes were in the second arrangement to enter the flu downstairs , my little brother , rather than use the commode decided to drop his load down the stove pipe hole . It seemed to him a convenient spot in an emergency . Of course , it landed on the hot stovepipe . There it stayed , invisible from below ...to slowly cook .

'L'aire de turd ' wafted throughout the downstairs and the bedroom for weeks . No amount of searching revealed the source . Mum cleaned and scoured and re-searched time and again . No one knew what was suffocating us . Not even my brother . Who really remembers such things once the job is done ? Eventually , the little coil was cooked to a crisp and ceased to smell .

It was not until spring , when the stovepipes came down as usual for cleaning , that the discovery occured . When Dad picked off the petrified poop , he didn't recognize it as quickly as Mum .

" That little Sh*t ! "

From then on , the stove pipe hole was blocked during the summer and barricaded during the winter to prevent access .

No comments: