In those years, in the countryside, almost every household would buy a honeycomb coal stove for their home. When winter comes, there are people selling honeycomb coal on the streets, and everyone buys more than a hundred or hundreds of honeycomb coals according to their needs and puts them under the eaves for the winter. The honeycomb coal presses a pier there, as if it can bring warmth, and winter seems to be less terrible.
When the northwest wind rose, the stove that had been sitting in the corner for half a year was taken out, a handful of firewood was burned in, and a briquette was placed on it, and the stove could be lit in an hour or so. The honeycomb coal stove did not occupy much space, the heat generated was limited, and the heating radiated from the furnace mouth was even more limited, but in those days, it was enough to comfort people. In addition to large tasks such as steaming steamed buns, the honeycomb coal stove can boil water and cook, saving people the trouble of sitting in front of the pot stove to burn firewood in cold weather. In winter, when the crops are resting, people are lazy, and the honeycomb coal stove can be invented, I think it has something to do with this.
In winter, there is often no electricity at night, and candles are often lit at home. In the dim candlelight, I often pull a small bench and sit in front of the stove to bake the bread. At that time, there were no snacks to eat, and baked buns in winter were definitely a delicacy, and after baking, the bun slices were broken open, and heat came out of it, with the aroma of strong wheat. The baked bun has a special baking net, which is to wrap a piece of iron wire into a circle, and then use finer iron wire (we call it tie wire) in this circumference, and weave it horizontally and vertically into a net. Just put the bun on it and not fall down. The grilled net was made by myself, and although it was not pretty, it was practical. Before there is a grilling net, the only way to bake the bun is to take the large iron tongs with honeycomb coal, put the tongs on the stove, and then put the bun on it to bake. The big iron tongs have only two iron poles, and Bun often falls into the stove, always having to panic to save Bun. I love baked buns, so I made grilled nets according to other people’s recipes. I remember many nights, everyone in the family lay down, some already asleep, some still half asleep. I was the only one sitting in front of the stove, the room was dark, only the small fire in front of me, I enjoyed the solitude, enjoyed the cold-soaked cotton shoes gave me, enjoyed the unspeakable happiness stirred up in my mouth by the roasted soft bread, and my heart was very satisfied.
There was a problem with my stove, the honeycomb coal burned too fast, even if the square air outlet below was completely closed, it would not help, and every night I had to get up in the middle of the night and replace it with a new briquette, otherwise it would be extinguished the next morning. But this is not needed at all for my grandmother’s stove, which burns all year round and is placed in the front room and living room. Every day after dinner, wash on it, change the coal again, and this coal can be smoothly supported until dawn. Our stove looks exactly the same as my grandmother’s stove, and I guess it must be the sealing of the furnace body that caused such a big difference, this difference, not only in the consumption of human energy, but also in the economic value, our stove is more coal-intensive.
My mom turned on the alarm every night, about twelve o’clock or one in the morning, which was the most guaranteed moment. Can just let the bottom coal burn out. Then everyone went to sleep, and the alarm clock jingled and rushed, and they woke us up, and then someone had to put on a dress to change the coal. Most of them were my dad, sometimes my mom, and sometimes they were too lazy to move, so I had to get on it. One night, I went down to change coal. My dad held me a flashlight from the kang. I took the big iron tongs out the bottom coal and put a new piece of media on the top. In fact, everything has been replaced, I looked at it again, and found that the top coal eye and the second layer were not aligned, and some eyes were black. Maybe I’ve had obsessive-compulsive disorder since I was a child, and I want to adjust it. So I went to pick up the big iron tongs again, but I didn’t think that the light of the flashlight did not keep up with my movements, and in the dark, my hand suddenly caught the tip of the iron tongs, and the tip was still red because it had just clamped the briquette. For a moment, I only heard the palm of my right hand slip, and I yelled, and threw away the big iron tongs, and a pain immediately came. I took the flashlight and looked at it, and the skin of my right palm was burned, the skin on the outside was rolled up, and the inside was a red wound. My parents asked me what it was, and it didn’t matter. I gritted my teeth and said it was okay as I shook my hand. There was no medicine at home that could be treated or relieved, and my parents listened to me and went to sleep after hearing that it didn’t matter.
When I arrived at the kang, I felt that my palms were hot all the time, and I couldn’t sleep at all. I hoped that the pain would ease slowly, but after a while, the pain of the wound became more and more obvious. Unintentionally, my hand touched the glass on the window, the window was connected to the outside, the ice and snow were raging there, the glass was like ice cubes, and when I put my palm up, it was comfortable all of a sudden. I pressed my palm against the glass, the hot pain was absorbed by the glass, and the hand found peace. After sticking it for a while, I took my hand off, and the pain quickly started again. So I could only put my hand up again, only to meet the glass, and the pain disappeared immediately. That night, I remained in that position, clinging one hand to the glass and shrinking under the covers with the other, finally not knowing when I fell asleep, and by the next morning, the burn pain had dissipated.
Later, my family built a new house, plated a new kang, and set up a big hole on the side of the kang, which is almost the golden section, and the honeycomb coal stove can be put in. This was a trend at the time, and when the stove was not in use, it was stuffed into the kang hole so that the heat was fully utilized. But this improvement is actually not very smart, because the kang will only heat the part under the stove, and in other places, the heat cannot be transferred at all, which is far from the effect of the electric blanket. The stove in my house was where my mother slept because she was cold.
In those years, although honeycomb coal stoves brought some convenience and warmth to many people and many families, there were also many misfortunes, and many people were poisoned by carbon monoxide in honeycomb coal stoves. Those people’s houses are estimated to be too tight, the air outlet of the honeycomb coal stove at night is also closed, to borrow chemical terms, briquettes in this case, combustion is very insufficient, will produce a lot of carbon monoxide, home air circulation is not good, carbon monoxide concentration is greater, will pose a serious threat to human life. I remember one winter morning when I went to call a classmate to school, when we were in junior high school. When I walked into his house, he and his two brothers were coming out of a house, seemingly escaping, rubbing their heads with their hands. Just listen to them, oops, dizziness is very, I want to vomit. Their mother’s face was bruised with fright, and she muttered, fortunately she found it early. The three brothers slept in a room, and their parents, fearing that they would freeze, put the honeycomb coal stove in their small room.
A few years ago, the mother of one of my elementary school classmates also died of gas poisoning. It was so cold that winter that his mother couldn’t stay up, so she moved the honeycomb coal stove into the house. I heard that there were two poisonings successively, the first poisoning was light, it was not a big deal, so I didn’t care. The second time it was serious, it was really sad that it was not rescued, and I couldn’t figure out why after the first poisoning, I didn’t take due vigilance and take better warm measures. When we were very young, his mother worked as a teacher and taught preschool. She has two sons, twins. At that time, I had a good relationship with her eldest son and played together a lot. Later, when I went to college, he was already in society. We got together that year, and his mother happened to pass by, and when she saw me, she said, “How can I be skinny like that, and we all went to college.” Alas, it is estimated that the baby’s academic pressure is heavy. I smiled, there was indeed pressure in my studies, but the main reason for my weight loss was that my spleen and stomach were not good, and I didn’t expect that it was the last time I saw her mother. When I heard the news of her mother’s death, I thought of his house, of the glowing honeycomb coal stove in the gloom.
There is an old man in my grandmother’s village, his wife died a long time ago, and his son also separated from the family. The son said he wanted to spend time with him, but he wouldn’t. One afternoon, in front of the stove in his yard, he suddenly fell ill, could not stand, fell on the stove, and never moved again. The door of his house was closed, and no one went to his house. Until his neighbor smelled a strange smell in his yard, and then saw smoke rising from his yard, and when he saw something wrong, he quickly ran over to see it. When he arrived at his house, the neighbor couldn’t believe his eyes, and the scene kept him awake for several nights. The old man’s upper body was almost burned, but his lower body was still standing there, still maintaining that curved posture. Based on his appearance, people guessed that he must be lighting the stove, and the people next door knew that he had not built the stove before, because it suddenly snowed that day and the temperature dropped a lot, and he may have acted like that. I remember the old man’s appearance, his teeth almost gone, his round head, bent at the waist. He had only wanted to get some heat through the stove, but he didn’t think that he would be burned on it.
Later, the honeycomb coal stoves in the village became fewer and fewer, and more people replaced them with steel-carbon stoves, the kind of stoves that were one size larger than the honeycomb coal stoves, burning carbon, and from the furnace protruded a metal pipe, which stretched out at a right angle in the house and then led to the outside of the house. The heat from the pipes is dissipated so that the whole house can heat up. My daughter-in-law’s hometown uses this, and the heating effect is really good.
In the past two years, I have heard my mother-in-law say that the government does not allow steel and carbon stoves to be used in the village, saying that it is not conducive to the prevention and control of smog. I don’t know what kind of person made this decision, he is probably not a farmer, if he is a farmer, he is probably also a farmer who has forgotten his roots. I don’t understand that peasants burn so much carbon, they pollute the air, they increase smog, and they become a handle for you to show your political achievements. Now that I think about it, the era of honeycomb coal stoves is also not easy, since the life of farmers has come to the present, everyone has the ability to live better, so no one should deprive them of the right to enjoy a better life.