Here in Michigan, Summer is never long enough. This year, I am guessing it will feel even shorter. I say that because we had a whole lot of rain that lasted well into May and June. Many friends have said that they were late opening their pools or planting gardens because of the rain. Finally, though, summer is here and it is time to enjoy!
I have many things that I love about summertime: beach days, golfing, walks through the neighborhood, swimming in a pool, picnics, mowing the grass, and just generally being outside enjoying nature. One of my favorite things about summer, is sitting around a bonfire with family and friends.
Usually, by this point in the year, we would have about 10 fires under our belt by now. However, because of the rain and such, we’ve only had two. We had our first on the 4th of July when we were all out in the backyard watching the fireworks. We had our second one last night. It was Sam and I, my aunt, my sons, and some of the neighborhood kids. It was the perfect night.
It was cool last night, but not chilly. It wasn’t so chilly that we needed sweatshirts or anything like that. We had the tiki torches full of insect repellent fuel and burned some some citronella candles to keep the mosquitoes at bay (the one downside of being outside). We live in a society where we are always on the go, and relaxing around a bonfire helps us to forget that and actually enjoy life.
Before we were married, when I moved in with Sam, the firepit was the first home project I tackled. It was actually a very easy and inexpensive. I think we bought all the supplies (rock, bricks, the ring, etc…) for about $200. That price will go up depending on what kind of pit you want and how big you want it. You certainly can spend about $500-$600 on a big one, or one that runs on propane. No matter what the cost, it is worth every penny!
My first experience with bonfires was back when my parents had a pop up camper and we’d go camping. They usually got a camp site that had a stainless steel fire pit. When you are camping, you’re out in the great outdoors! The stars are a bit brighter, the crickets are a bit louder, and the sounds of the crackling fire cut through the silence of a dark summer night. My folks would spray my brother and I down with Deep Woods Off or some other brand of insect spray and we’d just sit around the fire telling stories.
Even though our fire pit is smack dab in the middle of our back yard, and the sounds of the city can still be heard, it is just as relaxing as if you were in the woods camping. There is something “comfortable” about sitting around a campfire. Gazing up at the stars (or moon, which was awesome last night), storytelling, or just simply sitting and enjoying the peace of it all. Time is no longer a factor – it’s amazing!
The kids love the bonfires because they mean s’mores! I used to feel the same way as a kid! I always found it a challenge to get that marshmallow roasted perfectly. This rarely happened, and I got used to eating burnt ones! Gooey marshmallows on a graham cracker with chocolate – how can you go wrong!? Recently, I tried them with Reese’s Peanut Butter cups – that’s a game changer!! Wow!! Yum!
Bonfires are special. I really don’t know how to explain it. It’s quality time with those you care about. It’s quality conversation. It’s actually laughing out loud with friends instead of texting “LOL.” It’s meaningful. It’s making memories. It’s a great summer night activity that continues into early fall and gets better with hoodie sweatshirts!
Light the tiki torches … I’m already looking forward to the next bonfire ….