Saturday, October 25, 2014


Probably one of man's oldest collective memories is of fire.  We're the only animal to have tamed fire, and man spent millenia learning the lessons of fire and other lessons around a fire.  It's how we cook our food and how we heat our spaces, and while many of our citizens don't need fire on a regular basis, many of our citizens still use fire for those basic concerns.

A large chunk of my childhood, and a sizable portion of my adult life revolved around fire wood.  Finding it, splitting it, stacking it, toting it, worrying about it, and finally, burning it.  We had a fireplace in my childhood home and my farm house where I raised my kids had a fireplace.  My  current home has a fireplace, but it also has gas logs, run off  huge propane bottle.  If the electricity goes out during the winter, I still heat my home with fire, but it's a whole lot easier to light a gas log, and easier to control.

However, I do have a fire pit in the back yard, because sometimes it's nice to light a log, to look into the fire, and to poke the logs and watch the embers, reminiscing about fires I've built and conversations I've had.  I've probably built thousands of fires in my life, from cook fires to camp fires, to heating fires, and even those fires I set to clean up a brush pile.

A couple of years ago, Milady bought me a fire pit, and I admit that I've been remiss in using it.  Manly because I had other projects that took precedence, and wanted to finish those before I installed he fire pit.  However, those projects are complete, and I have come to the point to install my fire pit.  I needed some fire wood, and my elder son had recently removed a large white oak that had died.

So, this morning, I loaded the chainsaw in the truck and headed over to son's place, where I spent an hour cutting firewood.  We didn't get in a hurry, we cut and talked and stacked, more of an hour spent hanging out than an hour of hard work.  Then we went in his shop and used some scrap metal to build a small wood rack.  Then I brought it home and unloaded it, stacking the wood in it.

I used to measure my firewood by the cord, indeed, I did't feel prepared without four cords,  but I don't need anywhere near that amount of wood.

There is probably one-third of a rick there, which should be sufficient for my needs.  Lots more where that came from if I need it.  Now I'm set for an old-time fire.  I might even set up my tripod and so some campfire cooking.  It's been a long time.


Old NFO said...

Fire pits DO bring back good memories... Just sayin...

Michael Burns said...

Your post reminded me of a Hunting and camping trip we had on Kincaid Lake near Boyce, LA. We thought we were so prepared until it snowed. My Dad, Roy Burns, came to the rescue with a huge bonfire. We did not need rescuing, but we stayed inside our sleeping bags late into the day.

Anonymous said...

The slightly smokey taste of scratch made pancakes and bacon cooked over wood coals is WOW. Old well used cast iron skillets and dutch ovens-close to heaven.