Thankful for little acts of kindness

Emily Kirby is a staff writer for the Times-Journal. She can be reached at

While everyone was expressing their thanks for various things in their lives this week, I began to look at my situation and what I would say.

It’s been a whirlwind of a year for me, but one thing has held true: I have a wonderful family.

Months ago, I packed up my life in Fort Payne and moved back to Pisgah, next door to my grandparents and down the road from my parents and little brother. I didn’t picture myself going home anytime soon, or ever for that matter, so it’s been an adjustment for sure.

My family has taken this opportunity, however, to truly show me that I have a support system that is deeply rooted in seeing me succeed.

I now live in an old log house, originally built in 1846 and restored by my grandfather in 1997, so with all that history comes a lot of work.

The cabin has no central heat and air, so as the weather has turned colder, I’ve had to resort to heating part of the house with an electric heater and a propane heater. Now, I really do not like to use propane often, I don’t like the smell, the price, etc., so I started building fires in the wood stove to save me from using it.

Building a fire in a wood stove is different than just lighting a bonfire outside. It can be slow and meticulous, but after a bit, I developed a way that I liked to do it. When I gathered my wood from the shed each day after work, I started cutting small slivers of kindling, usually pine, and brought it in with the wood. I then shredded up a piece of paper or newspaper and carefully layered paper and kindling under medium sized pieces of wood. This process didn’t take long at all, but when I mentioned it to my grandfather last weekend, he didn’t think that was easy enough for me.

So, I walked in from work Monday to find a warm house and a large can of Kerosene-soaked pieces of kindling beside my stove. Now, you may think that probably took him five minutes to pour in a can and let sit, and you’re right. But knowing that someone would take any amount of time to make an aspect of my life easier is what I am absolutely and positively thankful for this year.

– Emily Kirby is a staff writer for the Times-Journal. She can be reached at

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