A couple weeks ago, I was walking out my front door for who-knows-what-reason, and noticed that a neighbor had set a chimea over by the dumpster.  I had my suspicions as to which neighbor it was, so I began to plot.  Never one to pass up a nice and practical freebie (you can see some of my freecycle acquisitions here), when S got home from work that day, I mentioned the chimea to him.  Apparently, he had similiar visions of sitting on the porch by a warm fire on a cold night, and he ran straight to the suspect neighbor’s house to ask about it.  Sure enough, they didn’t want it, and said we were welcome to it.  Next thing I knew, it was beautifully set up on the corner of my porch. 

The only thing we know of that is wrong with it is that the chimney is not fully stable, which should  be a fairly easy repair.  In the mean time, though, we decided to go ahead and enjoy using it.  The kids beat us to it.  S walked out on the porch the next day to find that M had gotten the notion to see if she could fit.  JR had decided to help her out and closed the hatch door for her, thereby locking her inside!

Do you think she was scared?  Not in the least!  To the contrary, both kids were having the time of their lives, and M was very proud to be the only one small enough to fit.  After S helped her out and lectured the kids on using the chimea safely and appropriately, he went ahead and built a fire in it.  He set the ground rules, showed JR some safe ways to work with fire, forbid M to get near the fire until she is a bit older, and began to enjoy his new toy.  The kids then decided the best way to utilize a fire was to roast marshmallows!  They quickly convinced their dad to find the roasting sticks in the garage, while they went to raid my pantry.  I typically have at least one bag in there for baking purposes. 

Notice in the above pic that you can’t see the marshmallows.  As it turned out, the only bag I had at the time was mini-marshmallows.  Of course, that did not deter the kiddos one bit!  It simply meant they could fit more marshmallows on the stick at one time! 

So, we are thankful to have a great find for an outdoor fireplace on these chilly nights.  And you can bet that the next time we went to the store, JR and M did NOT forget to grab a bag of full-size marshmallows!