The sizzle and snap of a fire is as comforting as the sooty smell. Dog homes always had fire pits, one for cooking, one for warmth, and another for gathering the family pack. Sometimes, we had a fourth, fifth or sixth for larger gatherings and banquet preparations.
Fires were only for cooking during baseball, but when the first cold snap hit and baseball stopped, the Great Fire was lit. It roared through the chill and we dreamed of sunnier days chasing balls in the fields.