Up in Smoke

They were perfect in every way.  So soft from many washings, full coverage including feet, and my favorite color – yellow.  That’s why the disaster that befell my favorite pair of pajamas was so devastating.

One bitterly cold, wintry night, I lay cozy and snuggled in my bed.  I could barely move because I was tucked in all around with sheets, blankets, and a couple of hand-made comforters.  So when I woke up in the middle of the night needing to go to the bathroom, I decided it wasn’t worth the effort.  Our old farmhouse had no furnace; just two coal burning stoves on each end of the house.   Our house was very seldom cozy warm in the winter, and upstairs, where my brother and I slept, there was no heat at all.   I would just wait until morning.  I quickly fell asleep.

“Time to get up!”  shouted mom after she opened the stair door, “I’ll be out helping Dad finish the milking.”

My brother and I knew that we better be up when mom came back into the house.  We jumped out of bed and hurried down the stairs.  It didn’t take me long to figure out that I should have gone to the bathroom when the urge had struck the night before. My pajamas bottoms were wet.  It also didn’t take me long to think about what would happen when mom found out.

As soon as I reached the bottom of the stairs, I unsnapped my bottoms, stripped them off, and ran to The Stove and quickly draped them over the top to dry.   Then I ran back upstairs to get a clean, dry pair of underwear.   Just as I came back down the stairs, the back door slammed.


I ran toward the stove to retrieve my pajamas, just as mom entered the room, and just as my favorite pj’s burst into flames.

My mom, being a quick-thinking woman, grabbed the broom and scooped the burning night clothes up with the handle of the broom.  She was  out the front door and the pajamas were soon lying in a huge snow drift.   Smoldering.   All I could do was watch out the front window at what was left of my favorite pajamas.

I started to cry.  Partly, because I loved those pajamas.  And partly because I knew what awaited me…. the wrath of mom.

yellow pajamas


About Life in the 50's and beyond...

Welcome to Life in the 50's and 60's and beyond .... where I write about my childhood memories, music of the 60's and about life in the country. I am a mother, grandmother, farmer's wife, business owner, and retired teacher.
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12 Responses to Up in Smoke

  1. Pingback: PJ’s | Retired Ruth

  2. LB says:

    And so … the wrath? Better or worse than you anticipate?
    You tell the story well!


  3. Maxi says:

    It makes my eyes misty to look at the picture and know what’s gonna happen.
    blessings ~ maxi


  4. maesprose says:

    Love this! Sorry about your pajamas.


  5. Karen says:

    We had a wood stove when my girls were little. I remember placing a shirt and underwear on it to warm it for them as soon as they got up. Of course, I forgot I did that with the myriad of things that morning and well, no more shirt and underwear. This MOM was the culprit, not the kids! I guess you could say my kids learned how an adult says, “I’m sorry.”


  6. We had a coal furnace…and know that feeling of being too cold to want to get out from the covers…In fact…I hate to …even today!…
    Have laid many things on the register where the heat came up from the furnace…but, thankfully no fires!…sorry for your loss!… of the yellow PJs…


  7. Luanne says:

    Aw, were they Dr. Denton’s?


  8. Glad the damage wasn’t worse. Now so much is flame retardant, but I wonder how safe it really is. A fire is a fire.


  9. louisandmel says:

    Great story and cute picture!


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