Damp the Fire!

RDP Friday: DAMP

Middle English (in the noun sense ‘noxious inhalation’); related to a Middle Low German word meaning ‘vapor, steam, smoke.’

Image result for heavy rain

We’ve certainly had more than our fair share of dampness this year.  Last I checked, we’re over 13 inches compared to the norm for summer here in my little corner of Pennsylvania.  That’s a lot of water.

There’s sunshine with the clouds today, though, and it’s wonderful to see.  Lifts the spirits.

I’m thinking of another use of damp, though.  I remember, long ago when I was maybe 8 or younger, we were on our way to Colorado to visit my dad’s family.  We had stopped somewhere in Kansas or Nebraska to have breakfast,  and I can’t remember the exact context, but I heard my dad say something like, “Damp the fire.”  I was shocked right out of my mind, because I thought he had said “DAMN the fire!”

He never swore.  Ever.  I was so shocked!  I remember standing there like a deer in the headlights, not knowing what to do or where to go.  He glanced up, must have seen the stunned look on my face, and asked if I was okay.  What do you say in response?  No, I didn’t know either.

What I do remember is that I got tears in my eyes, and he was completely puzzled.  I finally was able to tell him that I thought he’d said a bad word.  Now he was the one to look shocked.  Not for long, though. In fact, suddenly he was snorting with laughter.

When he explained what he had actually said, I felt SO much better 🙂  But then he had to explain what it meant to damp the fire, and he often had a really interesting way of explaining things.  He talked about being out in the desert, building a fire to cook something or the other, and then damping it.

So I understood what a damper was for when Terry and I had a fireplace later on, and I was glad to know how to control the fire by turning the damper one way or another.

Funny the things that a single little word can stir in one’s memory.

RDP: Damp

4 thoughts on “Damp the Fire!

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