I come home every night to a warm, welcoming friend. It’s like a dog that is always excited to see you and pulls you out of any funk you were in before. Gillies’ wood-burning stove is the equivalent to the two dogs I have at home. I always know someone is home when I walk back from study hours and there is smoke hanging above Osprey Circle. Within Gillies, our stove has become a common bond; you can always find someone sitting next to the warm blaze, reading or knitting or drinking tea (or doing all three, simultaneously). We are the only cabin that has a window on the door of the stove. Watching the blaze dance makes me lethargic, yet content. The presence of a self-sustained fire has draped a blanket of serenity over our cabin.
I love ending my night with seven of my friends around a warm fire, sharing stories of our days and our lives. We have started a trend of “5 Minutes of Fame,” which allows each girl to share her life for 5 minutes. We have laughed, cried and empathized in the random stories, quirky thoughts and hardships of each girl’s life. The fireplace has brought us to this place of sharing and care.
The most distinct memory I have with the stove so far is from the first night. Don Lamson, head of maintenance, had just left from setting us up and teaching us our stove rules. We didn’t know what really to do. Our cabin was beginning to thaw and everyone was having flashbacks to home. To pull us back to present and begin to relish in our newly heated home, we all decided to listen to Charlie Brown Christmas and Frank Sinatra. Dancing to “It’s Beginning To Look A lot Like Christmas,” made it seem like the only thing that mattered was to enjoy Sinatra, harmonize with each other and love ourselves.
-Katherine Shor, Charlotte, NC