Searching for Heat

I could see these tall stacks from my house where I grew up. One day I noticed there was smoke coming from them and being the natural born worrier that I am, I ran to my father in a panic.

He followed me outside, picked me up and said that’s where our heat is made. As long as you see smoke coming out of there you’ll know we’ll have heat in our house.

Did I mention I was a natural born worrier? My father’s assurance didn’t ease my concerns at all. All winter I’d ride the bus to school and I check to see if there was smoke. Then I’d relax knowing my mom and little brother would be warm. On the way home from school I’d check it again.

It’s the Labadie Power Plant in Labadie, Missouri if any of you old friends are trying to figure it out.
It wasn’t until I was much older did I realize its function and that if you don’t pay the electric bill it doesn’t matter if there is smoke or not. There won’t be any heat in your house.

Ever worry about having heat when you were a child?


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5 thoughts on “Searching for Heat

  1. Cheryl Flatt says:

    I didn't worry about heat as a child, however, my memories are the same as Patty's. I remember those cold, winter days huddled around the wood stove that always had a tea kettle on it. We went through a lot of hot chocolate. To this day when it is cold outside I want a fire place or wood stove burning. It is a symbol of comfort from childhood that I love.

  2. Niki Turner says:

    It really SHOULDN'T make me feel better that other people were equally paranoid about strange things as children, but it does. : )
    I've been known to fret about the availability of heat, water, and electrical power. Want to freak me out? Turn off the power…
    I chalk it up to an excitable imagination.

  3. Patty Wysong says:

    Oh yeah. Growing up in Maine we had both oil and wood. When my parents made the switch from business to ministry, things really changed at our house and oil became a precious commodity. The thermostat stayed very low and we used wood in the one little, very inefficient wood stove we had. We also had cathedral ceilings and floor to ceiling windows–a hang over from business days, so a warm house was something we all thought about a lot.

    A warm house is still something I'm extremely thankful for now, 30+ years later. LoL.

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