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Thursday, August 9, 2012


There is something primeval about a campfire. Our primitive ancestors must have felt like gods when they harnessed the power of fire. Warmth, cooking, light, and protection from wild animals. Fire is almost magical.

Most of us don’t need fire the way the old ones did, but that doesn’t mean we enjoy a campfire any less. One of the joys of living out in the country is the ability to have a fire ring in my yard. I spent the summers of my youth sitting around a campfire, feeding it, poking it with a stick, burning hot dogs and marshmallows, and just watching it.

We had a campfire last night. I’d cut some dead limbs out of a big hemlock tree that were overhanging the driveway. A campfire was the perfect way to get rid of them. The grandkids were all for it, of course.

Before long we had a nice bed of coals for roasting marshmallows. The kids loved that. My lovely wife started a story and encouraged the kids to keep adding to it. The got into it and came up with a funny tale. Eventually, the kids ran out of energy and were all herded off to bed.

My dad, my lovely wife and I sat around the dying fire, enjoying the quite. We talked in low voices and watched the stars come out. After a while, my dad said: this beats the hell out of TV.

It sure does.



  1. Sixbears,

    Campfires are the best when camping (as you indicated) or just sitting in your back yard. It's relaxing to watch flames and ambers, and it sure keeps you warm and toasty. I have to agree with your Dad, watching the sky or even nature is so much better than television.

  2. There is something about staring into the coals late at night when it dead quiet that is almost spiritual for me.

  3. I sometimes call the television "the electronic hearth," since it has replaced the campfire and the fireplace. I suspect that many who gather 'round the electronic version have no idea what their subconscious self is yearning for - a simple fire to warm their soul.

  4. I agree, the warmth of a fire in the dark when its cool - its a great feeling alright. You folks living in northern latitudes have it good - down here in south Texas, winter only lasts from November to February.

    The sight of dancing flames, smell of burning wood, sound of the popping of 'fat wood' pockets and shifting of fuel as it burns down - who sez fire isn't interactive ? 8^)

    Stimulates all the senses. Bustedknuckles called it right, the feeling is felt in your DNA, you've BEEN here before . . .

  5. Actually, Anonymous, I think last year winter was on a Thursday. That is what I tell my friends up north that, "yes, we have a winter, last year it was on Thursday". Boy Sixbears, you sure do know how to bring back memories for me. I loved to camp and the camp fire was a huge part of the enjoyment and fellowship.

    1. Lol, that isn't far off the mark, Texas is pretty but we have our share of sun and heat, that is for sure.

  6. Yes, fire is lovely and soothing isn't it? We so enjoy our seasonal fires here.

    Ages ago, we were tasked with making an artificial fire for an indoor campout at our kids' kung fu dojo. I bought some amber-glassed lamps at Goodwill, a string of white and red Xmas lights and got to work. We fastened pre-burned lots to a board, wrapped the lights amidst them, and then glued on the glass 'flames' of busted glass.

    I guess it was surprisingly effective, lol. But pre-burning the wood with a real fire was the best part for me!

  7. I do love those camp fires! Always best when shared with some friends or family!

    Many memories come with this post!