The Fire is So Delightful

Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Posted by chelsea

As much as I loathe how dependent our society has become on the internet for our source of anything from information to entertainment, I'm, admittedly, just as addicted as the next person, if not more.

I do everything from keeping up with my favorite tv shows, learning how to pick locks to researching new cookie recipes to bake for the HUG students when I get bored.

Last night, as I sat draped in a blanket and a snoring Callie the Cat, I realized that the thin fabric and whiskered creature were no longer enough to help me maintain a decent body temperature. I sat for a few moments, shivering from the chill that had crept into my bones, and contemplated what I should do. The HUG students have been in Israel since last Monday, and the heat was turned off until they return, so turning on a radiator wasn't an option.

Should I pile on more blankets, go take a hot shower, make yet another cup of tea?

The answer was obvious...I would build a fire.

There is a lovely fireplace in the dining area, which isn't a very cozy room to begin with, but after I dragged a big comfy chair over and strategically arranged some pillows, I was ready for the fire-building to begin.

Now, I've been on my fair share of rugged camping trips, all involving bathing in rivers and eating trout cooked over an open fire for every meal, but one of the things that apparently didn't ingrain itself within the confines of my brain was how to build a proper fire.

I had what I needed...dry logs, small sticks and newspaper, but try as I might, the newspaper simply burnt to a crisp and the sticks and logs remained untouched by the flames I so desperately needed to warm my freezing body.

I then did what any other internet-reliant person would have done...I Googled it.

Surprisingly enough, I came up with an abundance of fire-building how-to's and set to work after reading no less than five of them to be properly prepared for the task ahead of me.

Doing exactly as I'd been told, I balled up three pieces of newspaper, then I stacked small twigs and sticks in criss-cross formations above the newspaper and finally laid a few logs on top of my architectural masterpiece. Convinced that I'd have a fire going in no time, I held out the lighter and ignited the balls of newspaper.

Slowly but surely, the flames licked through the paper and moved onto the twigs, and then quickly spread along the bottom of the logs I'd so carefully chosen for the job. Success!

Five minutes fire came to an abrupt and disappointing halt as the flames snapped out and left only a few glowing embers below. I spent another ten minutes pushing around the logs and embers, and blowing furiously in hopes of reviving my short-lived fire. When all that was left was a small fleck of red pulsing beneath the ashes, I gave up and hoisted my comfy chair back to it's spot and resigned myself to using Callie the Cat for heat once again.

Not twenty minutes later, a loud pop echoed through the room that sent Callie jolting from my lap. Curious as to what had caused the noise, I cautiously eased up from my chair and walked into the dining area.

There, crackling and popping in all of its flaming glory, was a thriving fire. Thoroughly confused, but incredibly pleased, I chalked it up to the fire gods teaching me a lesson in patience and perseverance, moved my comfy chair back into place, and spent the next hour getting toasty by the fire.


David E. Baird said...

come visit me and I will teach you how to build a proper fire

Casey said...

That is incredibly sad...

Ian said...

Wasn't Prometheus the god of fire in Greek mythology? I know I learned that in jr. high but in this mythology class I'm taking I'm learning all sorts of new things about him. My prof. grew up in Greece so I think you two probably know eachother, right?

Anonymous said...

Aw, haha. Good job. I hope you stayed warm!