We’ve been working on cleaning up our house on the island and that means there has been a lot of stuff that needed to be disposed of. Our house, now named The Boathouse was the place where all the kids hung out back in the day when there were big parties here – the Annual Tea Party being one of them. We’d cover the second floor with sleeping bags and have an evening filled with ghost stories and giggles. Imagine a summer camp run by hippies with a single bunk house for all the kids. (Of course I’ve never been to summer camp, so I’m guessing.)
The Boathouse, formally known as Robert’s Cottage and later Clark & Sue’s, ended up being used more as a storehouse than anything else. There were stacks of old baskets, wicker and woven leather sandals from our old basket shop in the market (think Pier One merged with a head shop). Empty bottles from years of home brewing wine, beer and even root beer. Straw and hay bedding from when the house was used as a lambing shed. Bits and pieces from at least 10 bicycles… sails, plywood, paddles, bits of this, bits of that. The stuff that accumulates over 35 years on an island.
The problem is a lot of it is unusable – broken wicker, moldy bedding, wet boxes filled with wetter cardboard… so was time for a fire!
Now there was a lot of loose talk about a big bonfire, but when you live on a small island it is much safer, and by extension, much smarter, to have controlled fires during the day and when the wind is low. An out of control fire when you can’t call the fire department, and have no where to run but the middle of a river, is a dangerous thing.
So we burned, slow and steady, a bunch of my past. And it felt good.
We burnt a little more history when Gerry used dad’s whisky to flambée dinner.