It was cool, far cooler than the nearly triple digit temperatures of the previous weekend. The workday was almost over and I had an evening with the kids plus Collin ahead of me. Sitting at my desk, I stared out the window at the blue sky and made a decision.
"Do you have scrap wood laying around?" I texted one friend.
"Can I borrow your parents' fire pit thing?" I sent off to Chad.
Visions of hot dogs roasted over the fire followed by marshmallows so gooey and sweet they'd give us stomachaches promised to brighten an otherwise normal Tuesday.
I walked into the house with a bag of marshmallows. The kids were ecstatic. I dug through a Rubbermaid bin of camping gear and came up with four roasting sticks that had seen better days. Cleaning them off, I noticed our neighbor was playing in the yard with the kids so grabbed another package of hot dogs.
We started the fire and before long we were burning hot dogs. But the hot dogs were second to what they were all waiting for - the marshmallows.
I stuck them on the sticks and watched while they torched the white puffs into fireballs. I thought, briefly, of how far I was from the hose and then, like blowing out birthday candles, leaned over and extinguished the flaming balls of sugar.
There were burned fingers, dropped marshmallows, and one that fell into the fire to cries of "Oh no!" and "It's going to get bigger than the fire pit!!"
The giggled and roasted and ate until their hands and faces were sticky, smoke permeated their hair, and the bag of marshmallows was almost finished.
We put the lid on the fire pit, I sprayed down the deck - visions of smoldering embers igniting the nearby bale of hay belatedly paramount in my mind - and decided we needed to do this more often. Because if you can't have a camp out dinner on a Tuesday night, life has gotten far too serious.