Last night brought the first really cold night of the season, with freeze warnings forcing me out at dusk covering newly-planted lettuce seedlings, harvesting the last of the peppers, and hauling cherished potted tropical plants indoors. dating beside a roaring fire in my iron fire bowl. I took my laptop outside and answered a few last-minute emails, made notes about what go I did in the garden the past week that may be of interest to listeners, and downloaded a really cheesy tune about Autumn leaves falling.
Judging from the hazy smoke around the neighborhood I guess I wasn't the only one taking advantage of the, uh, coolest kind of outdoor entertainment. What used to be called "redneck TV" has become the best way to get away from real TV, where it's mostly people blowing one another up, or arguing, or acting out some sort of fake reality show.
Who needs all that, when we can do what humans have done for thousands of years - sit round a fire staring into its flickering flames, and occasionally adjusting logs and embers with fire pokers (which may be why to this day men have a hard time putting down the TV remote control).
I stock up on wood months ahead of fall, making sure what I burn is well "seasoned" to be dry enough to start easily, and burns brightly and hot without a lot of smoke. And even in mild evenings, the fire helps repel mosquitoes.
Sure, we all smell like country folks afterwards, but that's okay. it's an honest smell, unlike how we used to leave pubs at night with our hair smelling of stale cigarette smoke...
So, whether you have a simple circle of stones in the lawn, or a store-bought fire bowl, here's to getting out and doing what people have done for many centuries, and talk about real life stuff around a hot evening fire.