I learned to build a fire when I was a little girl. I am not sure if it was my Dad or my Grandpa who taught me, but I certainly remember how. Paper first, loosely crumpled, then kindling, lots of it, then small sticks and finally, logs. Make sure to build it with plenty of air flow-fire needs oxygen. And if there are no logs available, make your own! I remember watching with fascination as Grandpa made his "newspaper logs" that were as dense and heavy as wood and burned just as long, if not longer.
But I digress. My point is that I know how to build a fire. And because I have a cute little fire pit here at my campsite, along with a T-bone waiting to be eaten, I set out to build a fire. I crumpled up all the paper I could find, mostly junk mail, and gathered as much kindling as I could carry-twice. Then I found larger sticks and a couple of logs. I brought it all back to the campsite and set about laying it in the fire pit. I wish I had taken a picture of my handiwork-it was beautiful!
Now, in my defense, it has been raining for about two weeks. The fire pit is muddy and wet. The wind is blowing pretty strong and all I have is a bic lighter. But no problem. I can do this, of course I can.
I cannot. I tried and tried, but I am deeply ashamed to admit that I could not get a fire started. At first I could not even light the crumpled paper! The wind was blowing and the bic lighter was burning my fingers. While I had picked the driest kindling and sticks that I could, everything was pretty damp. I finally got some flames, and then the kindling caught and then.....nothing. Smoke and embers mocked me.
With burning eyes, I headed inside and lit the stove. Success! I cooked the T-bone in a cast iron pan and it was perfectly done and delicious. Wiggy was ecstatic. But I am ashamed....