A campfire sounded friendly, so I bought a fire pit. After I twisted the metal feet onto the metal bowl, I was stumped. Fire doesn’t require feet.
It does, however, require stumps where campers can slump, sticks in hand, and burn marshmallows. I checked back at the supermarket: no stumps. Later, while driving a country road, I saw a sign claiming free stumps. I pulled over and tried to lift one. Free, apparently, to anyone towing a crane. Then one night at a dinner party I mentioned my stump problem to my neighbor Andrew. Not stumps, he corrected, rounds.
The next afternoon Andrew pulled up in his truck. He heaved six rounds into place around the fire pit.
That night we all slumped on the stumps. We burned marshmallows. We stared at the stars. Andrew pointed out pale Jupiter and fiery Mars. Which is when I noticed that the wood chips, under the feet, were on fire.
After we’d doused the flames I decided I prefer the old-fashioned ground-level campfire. But I’m so glad I’ve got those sturdy rounds. And a round of sturdy friends.