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Thursday, November 12, 2009


Candles were so important in the days before electricity. Read Ralph's account of coping before there were any light switches on the wall.

"Candles"
"When I was a boy, candles were still in use and some were made at home. They were made of beef tallow or beeswax or a mixture of both. They were made by dipping stringy wicks in the melted stuff or by pouring the material in molds.

Some people preferred the light of a candle to that of a coal oil lamp. I remember a newspaperman saying he preferred a candle when setting type. I well remember and visually image myself carrying a candle to bed at my German grandparents house. At the bed, I would hold the candle down a little and let some melted wax drop on the window sill by my bed and then set the bottom of the candle in the melted wax. The bed was up to the wall and window. After getting in bed, I would lick my thumb and forefinger and pinch out the flame of the candle. Soon I was asleep under a big feather-holding cover. Sometimes I would have fearful dreams. Dreams came in life-asleep as real as life awake, and my heat beat in them as strong as in life at stake. "

Last winter here in Southern Indiana, we had an ice storm of gigantic proportions! We were without electricity for several days. Living by candlelight during those days was a real treat...the mood of the room seemed to change as a candle was lit. The pace slowed down, the golden light inviting me to read a book or just relax. So hard to do with the TV on or other appliances whirling and buzzing or beeping. I am sure to live day by day with only candlelight as Ralph did became as routine for him as flipping a light switch is to us. But nowadays when we are jolted back to the days of candlelight...for that brief time...what a nice change of pace and serenity it brings.

Tomorrow...the first snow of the season as seen through Ralph's eyes of his childhood.

14 comments:

Patty said...

Sometimes I want to throw away my computer, BlackBerry, TV, Ipod, and live like they did in the old days.

Great shot. Been missing you. I have been really busy. Really busy. And the newspaper keeps piling the work on me.

Sunny said...

Very enjoyable reading. Your wonderful photography would have been a nice touch to his book. I look forward to the next edition.
Sunny :)

Doreen said...

I remember making candles when I was much much younger. :-)

I love candle light. I will light many candles around the house and turn off all the lights. yes, even with just myself!!

Cynthia L. H. said...

Beautiful! I love this memory.
;^)
I also love candles...I light them frequently and enjoy the magical, mysterious play of lights dancing in odd shadows. It's very soothing.
;^)

Dan Felstead said...

Patty...I don't know what it is but I have been extremely busy myself and find myself wanting to get to more blogs and comment. I hope this slows down closer to Thanksgiving.

Thanks for stopping by again.

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Sunny...thanks for your kind words. His approach to life makes it very easy to match up with photos. By the way, I really liked your recent barn and barn door photos.

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Doreen, I have always wanted to make candles myself but have never learned the art. The light of a candle in the room does change the mood.

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Cynthia...you are right...soothing is a very good description of the mood.

Dan

De Lly Dilettante said...

What an interesting photo! Never had the oportunity to make candles.

dianne said...

I can remember doing that with a candle to steady it in a candle holder, this would be in the time of electrical blackouts which happened quite often when I first moved here.
It was lovely actually, living on the egde of the bushland,no street lights, only a few houses had been built,the night sky looked so dark dotted by a myriad of brightly shining stars,a sliver of a moon and all was quiet apart from some forest birds settling down in their nests.
Me with my candle, there is something very comforting about the golden glow of candle light. ♥

septembermom said...

I actually helped my son's first grade class make candles last Friday. It was cool to see the kids' excitement and pride in their efforts. Great photo!

Dan Felstead said...

Lly...me neither but I would love to try...I love the fragrances.

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Dianne...BEAUTIFUL DESCRIPTION! Sounds like a place I would love to live. Thank you for the enticing words...I enjoyed them.

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Septembermom...the first graders are on step ahead of me! I have nvever made candles but would love to try.

Dan