Losses and gains
A hands-off mom

The smell of home

This weekend, because he loves me (and received a discount for having been in the military – identity theft, periodic discounts, the BENEFITS NEVER END); Clay bought me two lovely things. One is an island for the kitchen, a gorgeous contraption with shelves and a butcher block top that rolls accommodatingly away to the corner when not in use. Lovely. I kiss it sometimes, when no one is looking. I can feel the state of organized, right there, just at my fingertips, about to be grasped.

The OTHER thing is a fire pit for the back yard. This makes me happier than I can really say, because fire…fire is a GOOD THING. I ENJOY fire. It’s not like I’ve ever set fire to any buildings, just to watch them burn or anything, but I find everything about fire to be very…emotionally satisfying. I like the smell, the color, I like watching a log burn and predicting which way it will shift as it sinks into the flames. I like the warmth and the liquid quality of the light it gives off.

I like fire.


But Clay knows about me and fire. On our first date he took me out to the local Six Flags, then when we were good and chilled (it was October 30th), we went back to his house for cocoa and a roaring fire in the fireplace.


Ahem. Where was I?

Ah yes, the fire pit. Clay put it together for me, and I decided we would have to have a fire in it before the weekend was over. Monday night, it was decided, we would light a fire and roast marshmallows. (The marshmallows were totally for the kids, so it would seem like we were doing it for them.)

So tonight we had our first backyard fire. Somehow we ended up with a total of seven kids back there, all of them wielding coat hanger sticks. I sat next to the fire, guarding the marshmallows, and making all the children call me “Queen” before I would give them any. A wind kicked up (natch), and whipped the smoke into our eyes. Max kept setting his marshmallow ablaze and then generously giving it to me. Raphael barely warmed the edge of his marshmallows before he ate them. Tre was content with a marshmallow in any form.

There was much discussion of the best way to toast a marshmallow, and if setting it on fire ruins it or not. The children who did not belong to us left eventually, cheeks streaked with soot and stickiness. Our own boys eventually spun down off their sugar high and fell into bed.

Now I’m sitting here, smelling the smoke in my hair. A light rainstorm moved in when we were done, washing down the air. Clay is working downstairs, sanding the walls in the basement. The smell of dry wall dust mixes with the scent smoke and rain. It’s an odd bouquet, but so evocative of our life today.

I am very, very content.



Your happiness is so very heartwarming. It's lovely to share in the joy your family brings you.


Oh, gosh, don't get me started on the VA. ... Yeah. I keep trying to say something else and then have to delete it because I've deteriorated into a rant. Just consider me rather annoyed with the government right now. Gaah.


I share and rejoice in your contentment. :-)

Oh, and I prefer to burn my marshmallows. Ideally, I warm one up just a bit and then set it completely on fire before blowing it out. Then you can slip off the lovely blackened burnt-sugar shell, eat it, and repeat the process several times using the same marshmallow. I've often been called crazy for this taste of mine, so don't feel bad if you're thinking it. ;-)


Sounds like a perfect weekend.

I love content.


We are planning on getting a firepit kind of thing this week sometime! We finally got most of the cherry tree wood chopped smaller and more manageable so that when we get the pit, we can light a fire. I'm for the toasty marshmallows too. I like warm and gooy in the inside and slightly crisped on the out. It's a delicate dance to get them just right!

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