Recently I realized that there have been a few things from my youth that I took for granted, toasting marshmallows being one of them. Growing up in an area blessed with forests and woods campfires were just one of those things you did, and often you cut a small sapling or branch, sharpened it to a point and roasted weiners and/or marshmallows. It was something I never really thought about until Travis asked the other day if we could cook marshmallows (big ones) with a stick.
I have no idea where he got the idea, but I thought "heck yeah!". I mean we would have to use a coat hanger instead of a stick, as I just don't have enough gas in the truck to find the nearest sapling, but I've still lots of scrap lumber around. Even if I didn't I had enough not-so-scrap lumber that I could sacrifice in the interest of crunchy, charcoally on the outside, chewy on the inside sugary goodness of roast marshmallows.
So I went out to a spot near the new airport construction where I knew there was sand and came back with two buckets full. And I made another stop where I loaded up some largish rocks (we may not have saplings but boy we have rocks). Out to the corner of our lot, in front of the house I put down a layer of shale, a layer of sand, and arranged the rocks into a firepit.
It took a couple of false starts (due to Travis falling asleep before we could get it together enough to start the fire) but I finally made a fire the other night. I have to admit that I was impatient and used a little northern fire starter to get the thing going (what the heck, I didn't really need the hair on the back of my knuckles), but dammit my boy was going to have his marshmallows.
In the end it was a little anti-climatic, Travis it turns out, is afraid of the fire and I couldn't get him anywhere within a coat hanger's reach of the fire. And he didn't want the roasted marshmallows, I couldn't tempt him at all. But you know it really doesn't matter, he ate marshmallows out of the bag while dad ate a couple burnt to a crisp, and maybe next time he'll get a little closer to the fire. For now we have a fire pit, and I'll add a couple of simple benches for the next time, and maybe even tempt his mother closer to the fire.