The gate is open and the wire and wooden post is covered in snow. Where are the juniors running around the campfire waiting for their chili mac to finish? I’ve seen a lot of light saber duals around this house, not to mention the amount of shady deals gone down in the feed-store-turned-saloon in front of the homestead. Soon school groups will be here. They will move from the tool shed to the caved-in potato cellar, across the wooden boards to the barn, and out to see the old carriages and plows rusted out and wood bleached from the sun in the field.
I interviewed the stove.
WM: What’s cooking?
S: Heh, not much.
WM: It was only a question, don’t get overheated!
S: Wow, that’s great.
WM: Thanks. You ever get to read the books in here?
S: Sometimes, but I’m not a big reader.
WM: What do you want to be when you’re older?
S: A Stove.
WM: Ha, good one. Uh… [WM shuffles through his pad of paper.] Ever heard of television?
WM: A Jet Boil?
WM: You hear how many retweets Ellen DeGeneres got at the Oscars?
WM: Like over 2 million.
It’s hard to imagine, this winter flying back and forth home to Massachusetts, driving down to Colorado Springs to see a movie in 3D, driving to Crested Butte to ski for the weekend, that Quick’s is always here. That it always smells like this. That at 2pm the sun looks like this. The tools are lying just so, waiting for us to find them in the Spring and hand to wide-eyed children. I sometimes think the ground squirrels always hide in the rafters of the tool shed until I walk up, exploding across the wooden boards and vanishing with a flip of their tail out of sight.
WM: A microwave?
S: [She shakes her head.]
WM: It’s really neat, it’s got these buttons and you can make a hotdog in 45 seconds. 1 minute if you want it to split—
S: Look, can we wrap this up soon?
WM: Wait! Sorry I’m so nervous, it’s just… you’re my favorite stove.
S: [Stove brightens up.] OK. Let’s try again, then.
WM: Sorry about before. I didn’t mean to grill you.