My grandparent’s house had a fireplace in the living room. My grandfather chopped his own wood, stocked a large pile in the yard, and everyday he would bring several logs inside to create a fire. Everyday throughout the fall and winter the fire was lit, and it’s heat protected the entire house from the harsh cold. As a child I would lie on the carpet with my dog, Snowball, near the fireplace and curl into a ball. We all would sit in the living room, my grandparents would take a nap around 3 pm, and I would enjoy the tranquil silence that was interrupted by the cracking fireplace or the chiming of the grandfather clock that stood tall at one end of the room. However, unable to take a nap that was longer than 5 minutes, I typically ran to “my room” and grab a few books and then returned to fire. I lived less than ten minutes from my grandparents, and my parents worked a lot, so I spent the same time (maybe even more) at my grandparent’s house than my own. Because I slept over often during the weekends, and usually visited right after school, my grandparents thought it was logical that I should get my own room. My grandmother redecorated my father’s old room, covered the walls by my paintings and drawings from school. I’ve moved several times throughout my life–never that far. And relationships can be complicated. But I always had a safe place, I had one permanent home that I could run to at any time in my life: my grandparent’s home and their cozy fireplace in the winter. There are more cold months than there are warm ones, so most of my childhood memories are either surrounded by warm colored leaves or thick blankets of snow. This is my first year without that fireplace, and without my loving grandparents. But I hope to have my own fire place someday, so I can attach new memories to the ones I hold on to now.