Monday, June 28, 2021

Please Put the Mantle Here

 The mantles from several old fireplaces were among some the parts of the razed house Mama had purchased to move to High Acres. And, some of these mantles were more ornate than others. Mama had a hard time deciding which one she wanted in the great room, but finally made her choice. As the structure of the house was being completed, she was very specific with Stanbury, as to where in the room she wanted the fireplace and which mantle to use.

On one trip up, Mama found that the mantle had been installed just where she wanted it. However, there was just a blank wall behind it. Upon questioning Dad, she learned that the plans for a chimney had been delayed. His story was that he wanted to find a brick mason who was experienced in building chimneys in the high wind conditions surrounding the house. So there was Mama's mantle in all its glory installed in the great room with no fireplace. There were plans for another fireplace up stairs but Mama wisely decided to wait until the chimney was built before she installed that mantle. So among the various 'treasures"in the great room upstairs was a stack of spare mantles.

Eventually the mantles were quietly moved to the barn and some thirty years later when Mama sold the farm, there still was no chimney on that side of the house. However on the other side of the house, there was a small chimney built for the franklin stove that was in the small den. That side of the house did not have the wind issues and that stove was one of the first things installed. We often suggested she could use one of her fancy mantles over the squatty wood stove in the small den. She failed to share our humor.

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