A friend and I recently made a trip to Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. Admission to the “authentic coastal village area” was free that day with the added bonus of roving carolers and a community sing-a-long. Although it was snowing when we set off on our 1-1/2 hour drive, my friend and I were looking forward to experiencing the “warmth” of the little community when we arrived. (And we were hoping it would stop snowing!)
The snow turned to rain and then stopped, but it was still chilly. Neither of us had dressed warm enough, so we went in and out of the buildings to warm up. One of the warmest buildings we entered was the barrel-maker’s or cooper’s workshop.
There was a lovely fire going in the wood-burning stove and warm-colored wood everywhere — so many different examples of containers made by the cooper. He took the time to explain how the wood is heated up to release the moisture within it, and then the pieces of wood are bent and held together by metal rings.
It was an interesting and beautiful way to warm up on a chilly winter day!