We finally got around to torching our burn pile. It’s been an eyesore for a good long while. Of course, having a burn pile in the back field isn’t without perks—it furnished a fort or two and provided lots of scavenging fun. But it was time it went.
The kids were stoked. They helped haul junk (and more junk) to the pile. They hovered. The fire got lit and then they hooked up the line of hoses.
(I’m not sure why that wasn’t done ahead of time. I’ll have to ask my husband.)
Sweetsie packed up a bag, grabbed her coat, and took off for the pasture down yonder where she plunked herself in the very middle of the field.
Which made me nervous because what if the fire suddenly spread and here we all were and there she was and—? and—?
Well, I just didn’t like the idea of a wall of fire separating me from any of my babies. If we’re going to have a wall of fire, I like for all of us to be on the same side of it.
Not that we had a wall of fire. But even with a puny fire, I still get a wee bit nervous.
Here one of my chairs is going up in flames.
I like to buy chairs that I think will be really nice once my husband glues, screws, or nails such-and-such. Then my husband, who does not like to fix up pieces of junk, gives me and my chairs the passive aggressive treatment—in other words, nothing happens—and all my not-quite-junk chairs end up tossed into the barn loft, otherwise known as the Chair Graveyard.
Somehow—how?—one of my chairs ended up on the burn pile. Perhaps I’ll have to upgrade from a chair graveyard to a chair urn.
My husband walked around the fire scooping up the debris around the edges and tossing it back onto the center of the pile.
Or at least he tried to.
Youch! Geez, that’s hot!
He had to inspect his arm to see if he had any arm hairs left.
The fire was burning happily when my husband happened upon a dead chicken in the field.
Hey, look at this! A dead chicken!
Is it really dead?
Perhaps a little CPR…
Just kidding. Let’s roast it instead.
A little later a chicken head was discovered.
What in the world? Somebody is killing my chickens! my husband roared.
Honey dear, I chided. Why do you say someBODY? Why not someTHING or some ANIMAL? Nobody cares enough about your chickens to bother sneaking onto our property to kill them. It’s so uncivilized to talk that way.
My husband was peeved. Something must be done. He turned his attention away from the raging fire, jumped on the Dixie Chopper, and set about cleaning up around the chicken pen. No more little chicken-killing rodents were going to get his little biddies if he could help it!
My daughter stopped him mid-mow.
Papa, there’s another dead chicken!
My son, hands on hips, came to investigate.
He poked it with his toe.
Sure enough. This one was dead in the pen. My son carried it off by the foot…
And launched it into the inferno.
It’s a flying chicken! Wheeeee!
(Thanks to a freshly mowed chicken yard and a once-again electrified chicken fence, it’s been over 48 hours since the last reported dead chicken. Things are looking up.)
My husband and son stayed outside later than the rest of us to tend to the fire.
The next afternoon, despite the rain, the two older kids stirred up the coals and got the fire going again.
They tried to burn a tree trunk. It kept them occupied for hours.
Which makes me think we should always have a burning burn pile on hand—you know, like a sandbox or a kiddy pool, but a bit more exciting.
This same time, years previous: strawberry cheesecake ice cream