Recently, it snowed about 18 inches here. The children had a ball sliding down the hill with their friends. Unfortunately, the electricity was out for three days. This is a little unusual. Usually, it goes out about once or twice a week for several minutes or several hours, but not three days. I've been wanting to get a deep freezer but am afraid our meat would ruin because of the frequent power outages. During those three days and nights, we lived by candlelight and cooked on our coal stove. We even managed to bake a banana cake on the top with our iron skillet. We have a love/hate relationship with it. It is so nice to have a warm source of heat to read beside on a snowy day; but it is so messy. We've learned through trial and error that you should never buy coal in bulk until you have tested it to make sure the seller didn't cheat you by mixing rocks in the coal. One year, we spent a very miserable winter shivering next to the stove trying to burn rocks. Ha, ha! Another year, we had a house fire. You can probably guess, I am not very inclined to compose an 'Ode to the Ole Coal Stove.'