Our new chiminea sits next to the former pond and close enough to the table to provide a little added warmth.

Our new chiminea sits next to the former pond and close enough to the table to provide a little added warmth.

This year was an odd one for us. School started unusually early this year, whereas it has previously started the Wednesday after Labor Day. Labor Day weekend has been a time for us to prepare for the transition from summer living to school year life, but this year the schools started before the holiday, leaving us with no mission for the weekend.

We visited with some family on Saturday and had a great time swimming in their pool for a lazy afternoon. After dinner, we hung out on their deck and toasted marshmallows over their fire pit as the air cooled down and the fireflies came out. This moment was so wonderful, relaxing, and easy to enjoy that Hubby and I started talking about the possibility of a fire pit at the Homestead.

We have gotten little enjoyment out of our patio this summer, what with all the rain and the dratted mosquitoes that have taken over our town. But with the arrival of autumn’s cooler weather, we hope to spend a lot of evenings outside enjoying our patio and encouraging the kids to run themselves to sleep. a fire pit of some sort would certainly help extend the outside season, but I was concerned about the open flames with the kids and dogs, and to make full use of a pit we’d also have to buy chairs to use around it, making the whole thing a more expensive project then we really want right now.

So Sunday I headed out to our local garden center and picked up a pretty clay chiminea. This little fireplace will warm the patio area a bit, and can be used to toast marshmallows for s’mores, as we proved Sunday night when we had some friends bring their kids over to break it in. (On a side note, I highly recommend s’mores made with strawberry marshmallows for a new twist.) It took a while to get that fire started (the use of lighter fluid in a chiminea is highly discouraged), but once it was going, it provided exactly the right amount of heat for out little patio.

I had intended to take some photos of the kids using the chiminea to share here, but in the fun of the moment I didn’t remember to do it. That’s how I know it was truly a success…I was having so much fun and focusing so completely on being in the moment, that I had no need to try to capture it on film.