Bonfire!

Along with trampoline injuries, Enid Blyton books and slip-and-slides, there’s another experience every kid really should have – a bonfire!

I’m sure I am not alone in looking back longingly at Firecracker night. You remember – where kids were terrorised by those firecrackers that ran along the ground (was I the only child who hid in the laundry when they were lit?), when grown-ups who were over the limit waved lit matches around, and injuries were sustained by the following exchanges: “Did you light it?” “Yes, I lit it.” “It’s not working, you musn’t have lit it.” “I lit it!” “Well I can’t see the spark, you better go check.” “It’s just taking a minute.” “It’s not working, we’ll have to get another one.” “All right, I’ll check.” Ka-boom. Souljourneyboy is one such firecracker survivor.

Despite the danger – or perhaps because of it – we all loved Firecracker Night, and collectively rolled our eyes when the government put a stop to it and officially declared the end of all fun.

So we’re not allowed firecrackers anymore, but fortunately we are still allowed bonfires. Souljourneyboy’s parents live on acreage, and each year we pile up all the branches and trees for the annual burn-off. Its become quite a tradition with family and friends; there’s a sausage sizzle and roasted marshmallows, pyromaniac kids doing frightening things with lit branches (egged on by Uncle E), ice cream and lots of fun.

Take a look:

It’s becoming a tradition that I really love.

My grandmother’s funeral is on Friday – she lived in a tiny country town called Bombala, which is where her funeral is being held. I have so many memories of holidays at Grandma’s place – often with Soul Sister along for the ride – and it was such a wonderful part of my childhood. We’d visit the second-hand bookstore, spend a couple of dollars on cheap romance novels, and read for days at a time. We’d go for walks along the river and spend hours sitting at the kitchen table eating my grandmother’s cooking and playing board games.

I’m taking the kids to Bombala for her funeral on Friday, and I honestly don’t know when I will ever visit the sleepy little town again. Now Grandma is gone, I don’t have any family there and considering it’s a 7-hour drive, it’s not somewhere you just drop by for a quick visit. So I kind of feel as though I’m saying goodbye not only to my Grandmother, but a part of my childhood too.

So while I feel a little sad…it also makes me determined to build wonderful traditions for my family, and make sure my kids have great memories to look back on and treasure when they’re older.

So cheers for Bonfire Night!

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