"We ate like kings!" declared young James.
Translation: Mom tried to fix a campfire ring with a grill circle inset at the edge. She didn't leave spaces between the "perfect edge" pavers she bought to make the ring. This didn't matter for the ring because it is only going to be two pavers high and a good six foot in diameter. Not leaving spaces in each layer did matter for the much smaller grill circle, though. It could have been that the pine needles Kate and I carried from the garbage can storage bin had gotten wet sometime in the last week, or it could have been that the fire couldn't get enough air, but whatever the cause, Mom's charcoal fire barely caught. Kate and I drank part of a Coke apiece while we waited for the fire to get hot enough to cook our hot dogs. We traipsed up the hill to the house to fetch the marshmallows, and then we trudged back up there to get the Doritos and the hot dogs and buns. We drug chairs from the patio to the campfire ring that wasn't quite a Ring of Fire. We swung on the swingset, watched the cats inspect Mom's progress, and tried to see Mom through all the smoke wafting from the pine needles. We watched Mom hack a few short twigs off a tree so we could use them to hold our marshmallows in the fire (when/if the fire finally got going). Mom said the charcoal was glowing in one teeny spot, so we poked our twigs and marshmallows close to the heat as possible while debating whether or not our marshmallows were browning or burning. Mom loaded the unopened hot dog package, the hot dog buns, her Diet Coke, the matches, the Doritos, and the marshmallows into our wagon and pulled it back up the hill. Katie had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and I had a hot dog cooked on the stove. Oh, man, it was a fun evening! Those marshmallows were delicious! We ate like kings!
See, there was a reason I didn't attempt to mortar those pavers into permanent position. I knew there would be something I'd want to change! I knew how much I enjoy just messing around and creating on the fly instead of calculating and planning to the nth degree beforehand. I'll rearrange the grill circle pavers today so they have more open spaces between the layers.
I jokingly told Kate yesterday, "Why don't you go outside while I do the lunch dishes and finish that ring for me?" When I looked out the back window, she was busy working on something in the ring. When I got close enough, I could see that Miss Big Girl had carried nineteen pavers one at a time and placed them inside the ring I'd already laid! It looked great, so today I'll start digging the grass out and laying that row on the outside of the ring where it will show up.
So, library internet time is about up for me for today. The kiddos are bound to remember that I said we could try the fire again tonight!