22 February 2013


Earlier this week, Angel and I braved the cold and had a little bonfire in our backyard while we spontaneously went sledding down the hills. I think it was the first time I've actually stayed outside for more than 5 minutes in weeks, and it was a blast.

My face also got kind of frozen during our sledding adventure, so warming up by the fire after a ride down the hill was very important. I watched the flames as the sun sank and the sky became completely dark, and I reflected on how much fire has always been a part of my life.

From the moment perhaps 15 years ago when my Mom assigned me to help her carry pieces of our broken dining room table and the 12 chairs that went with it out to the burn pile, I've known fire as a useful tool, a dangerous weapon, and an integral part of nearly any celebration.

(My Mom was hoping to get rid of all traces of our dining room table before Dad got home from work so that he couldn't fix it again. It worked.)

When my dad and uncles found reason to chop up a tree, or when a storm took heavy branches to the ground, they were always saved up in large brush piles to be lit at the next social gathering.

 This was at my college graduation party.

In high school, my siblings and I ceremoniously burned old tests and notebooks full of notes as the official end to every school year. And then we roasted hot dogs over the ashes.

Squatting barefoot on the shore of the Indian Ocean, gleefully cooking hot dogs over sticks and burned-up schoolbooks. Have I ever mentioned how much I loved my childhood?

Angel and I have found that a having a little bonfire in the backyard is a nice alternative to investing in a paper shredder for documents that you don't want to see the light of day again. We have a couple of hobo pie makers, too, so we can accomplish two chores at once by cooking pizza sandwiches for dinner at the same time as getting rid of paperwork.

 This was the time we burned all of my school papers after my Junior year of college. There is a hilarious video accompanying it recording the fact that I can't light a match successfully.

Last December, fire (and the fire department) came in handy when it was time to burn the remnants of a century-old barn that once stood on my parent's property. Now that was a blaze.

Believe it or not, Angel is the more careful one out of the two of us when it comes to fire. This may possibly be related to his career as a nurse working with burns. So don't worry about my enjoyment of a bonfire every once in a while. Angel's always around to keep a hose nearby and make sure that we burn things safely. Fire is one of those things that you can enjoy only from a safe distance. But man, does it come in handy when you have an ugly couch to get rid of. 

# of couches my family burned in my growing up years: approx. 4

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Liz Trull said...

I love a good bonfire. And burning papers you don't want rather than shredding them is so much more fun!

Angi said...

That is hilarious that you burned couches. Isaiah has stories of all the things he and his roommates used to burn - the main story involving old couches. I guess my parents never really let us deal with fire when we were kids - I haven't been to that many bonfires or burned that many things!

~Anchored In Christ~ said...

wow what a fire. sorry i havent been around much. still trying to figure this blogging deal out.

Tina Byland said...

Wow. Fire's quite the symbol in your life. And I love that you have all of these pictures. :)

Carolynn said...

Oh, that is an awesome picture of your husband, who slightly resembles a silly bird standing on one leg. Adorable! Husband and I like burning things so much that we have a wood stove in our house :)

your childhood sounds amazing!

April said...

you crack me up! I love the pic of you roasting hot dogs, and you braved the cold for a bonfire-you go girl!

Cramer Coffee and Jesus said...

my parents bought us a fire pit for our patio and we have yet to use it. blah! we need to get it out! I love sitting outside by the fire with some coffee in hand. we might just have to do that this weekend - josh would rather wait til it warms up a tad bit... said...

LOVE this! bonfires was all we homeschoolers did back in the day, it seemed. and even in college! i love the end-of-the-year tradition. wish we had thought about that!

thanks so much for linking up with saturday morning coffee today!

LeiShell said...

Eeek, my hubby is a Fire Engineer and would not approve of that bonfire in the grass! lol But glad you had fun, and love the story of your mom with the dining table, too funny!

Heidi's Wanderings said...

Bonfires are always so much fun. It always seems strange that you can feel hot right next to the fire and take two steps away and it's freezing cold.

Anonymous said...

Interesting pictures. I should have burned some of my old schoolbooks, haha.