Hale: Simple brick drives away night chills | – Houston Chronicle

In time for the frosty nights across the country Leon Hale writes this in this morning’s Houston Chronicle.

Warm toes

Sleeping with the feet on a hot brick is a familiar custom to me. It was based on the theory that if you keep your feet warm, you’ll stay warm all over.

I once thought that all families everywhere slept with hot bricks. But I remember having a high school buddy spending a winter night at our house, and he was puzzled to see my mother putting four bricks in the oven about an hour before bedtime.

Everybody in our family had his own brick and was responsible for wrapping it. We used remnants of old cotton blankets. You had to watch out that your brick didn’t overheat, or it would scorch the wrapping and stink up the house or even start a fire.

A brick properly heated and wrapped would often stay warm all night. Our custom was, when you got up in the morning you brought your brick to the kitchen and unwrapped it and stacked it by the stove with the others. And if it was still warm, you invited others to touch it to show that you had done a good wrapping job.

On frosty mornings we didn’t ask a person whether he slept well. We’d just ask, “Did your brick stay warm?” If he said yes, that meant he had slept well.

Now where can I find a good brick? Stay dry, stay warm, stay safe and we’ll catch you down the road.

Source: Hale: Simple brick drives away night chills | – Houston Chronicle