Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Burn & Ring.

I'm a Minnesota gal. I grew up on a farm and my parents have been hosting a New Year's Day bonfire there for probably twenty years. This is no wimpy bonfire and in fact most years the flames reach thirty, even forty feet into the air. They collect items for the burn pile year-round and then invite all of their friends to come and burn the old, ring in the new. In years past, it was not uncommon to find an old couch in the pile, a random something that probably hurt the environment as it sizzled, but the prevailing common thread was always the Christmas trees. Party guests bring their trees to toss in and even the local nursery loads up all of the trees that didn't sell and drop them off in a pile next to the fire. Periodically throughout the day/night the trees get tossed in and ignite within seconds. Its a great tradition! Sometimes its -10 degrees and only the side of your body that faces the fire is warm, forcing you to roll along like a rotisserie to handle the cold. That and make sure you have a beer in-hand AND a trapper hat! The trapper hat is an element that has surely evolved over the years. I'm pretty sure it started with my dad as he spends most of his time working outside and the big furry hats keep him warm. As the years chugged on it became the running joke that in order to stand out by the fire one must don a trapper hat!

Since we didn't go back to MN for the holidays this year we decided to implement the New Year's Day bonfire in true West Coast fashion <<< on the beach.

Though this idea was new to us it was certainly not original. Sunday was gorgeous and sunny - a rare Seattle winter day. The Olympic Mountain range and its snowy peaks were clear and visible across the Sound. Sailboats curled around in the bay. And every single fire pit in the sand had people standing around them burning trees!

Our friends brought their trees. My girl Erin brought her PhD exams and tossed them in. I roasted a dog and sipped on a Rainier tall boy. It was a good day. Happy New Year!


Here we are on our last night of 2011! Photo courtesy of B. Look at how cute and happy Tyson is in that bottom picture. Love that happy man. 

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