Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Burn Barrel Romance

Scott is an early-to-bed-early-to-rise person out of necessity. He has a very physical job and while he isn’t old, he isn’t young anymore either (neither am I for that matter, being a year older than he is). By eight o’clock most nights he is in jammies and ready for bed. So when we came home after Cyra’s concert last week and Scott put his yard work clothes back on I was more than surprised.

“What are you up to,” I asked him as he slipped he shoes on.

“I’m going go burn things and drink a beer…or maybe two. Want to join me?”

“Sure. Sounds fun.”

There’s something about sitting in front of a fire with Scott that makes my insides woozy. Normally when we sit around in front of a fire it’s when we are off camping and marshmallows are involved. Not romantic, per se, but nice enough. And making a big fire in the burn barrel, while it might not involve s’mores, is fun nevertheless.

The moon and stars peeked through a mostly overcast sky and I dragged our two Adirondack chairs into the yard while Scott began building the fire. By the time I brought our drinks out – a nice IPA for Scott and a good cup of Earl Grey for me (ironically although the selling and drinking of beer is our main source of income, I don’t particularly care for the taste) Scott had a good size blaze going.

We turned off the flood lights and sat in the glow of the barrel, quietly sipping our drinks. Cyra, her bundle of nerves exhausted from the concert, had collapsed into bed soon after we arrived home and Ashleigh was glued to the internet, giggling over The Meta Picture and fan-girling to manga. The neighborhood was quiet except for the billions of frogs in the pond out front and the occasionally barking of a dog.

I’m not sure how it happened, but somehow Scott and I ended up having a date night: out of the house, in front of a roaring fire, sharing a drink, and no kids around? Sounds like a date to me. So what that it was in the backyard and mosquitoes the size of Cessnas buzzed around us despite the heavy dose of bug spray and citronella candles.

And somehow, magically, we ended up breaking one of our cardinal rules: never, ever, talk religion or politics.

Our views are so vastly different that we don’t even try to come to a common ground anymore. We just accept that we will never see eye to eye on certain things and so those subjects are not permitted. But on this magical, burn barrel date we talked religion. And, even more surprising, it didn’t end in a fight.

I must be maturing.

I don't know exactly how the subject came up, but it all came down to the way we met. Scott claims fate: some force led us to make the choices that led us to meet – he draws the line at calling predestination (even though it certainly sounded like that to me) claiming that just because we were fated to meet didn’t mean, necessarily, that we were fated to be together.

It reminded me of my days back at Flagler when I took a Milton class (you know, Paradise Lost, that guy). Oh the debates that I demanded we have in class (remember, Sara?) all the arguments I brought up about free will versus predestination to the point where the professor had to tell me to give it a rest.

But I couldn’t. It bugs me even today. If the god you believe in is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving then you cannot have free will because he already knows what you are going to do and you can’t prove an omnipotent being false so therefore you have no choice but to do what has already been seen. That, my friends, is predestination.


I’m breaking my no religion, no politics rule here too! Yikes!

Back to the story! My argument is that if we were destined to meet, then all of our choices along the way are trivialized because it wouldn’t matter what choice we made, we’d still have ended up meeting. Scott argues that my view only works if our meeting is the be all end all of those choices. It got more convoluted as the evening wore on. We teased and laughed, joked and smiled. There may have been some kissing too - but I don't kiss and tell!

Regardless of the conversation, I am more than happy with the choices that led me to Scott. Whether it was predestination, fate handing us a road map, or just simple coincidence, without Scott I wouldn't have my girls, my BFF Sara, or a million wonderful memories and moments with a man I can't imagine my life without.

And that, my Friends, I wouldn't change for the world!


  1. Okay, I love, love, love this impromptu date night! Sometimes those are the absolute best - no planning, no fancy anything...just a barrel, a fire and some beer. That is so what makes marriage worth it. Love it.

    As to your religion talk - good for you that you both could come to a place of discussion that valued each perspective. As for my take (I know you didn't ask but felt maaaaybe I could interject here...), God is omnipotent and omnipresent AND allows for complete free will because He knows the vast myriad of ALL the different paths and choices we could ever make. It's like having an endless supply of alternate futures that He already knew based on our choosing of this or that. I know that for me, I get a sense of direction at times but others, well, it is up to me. Does that make sense? :)

    I might have to ask hubby if he has any burning to do tonight!

  2. We have piles upon piles of wood to burn. We always build fires for the kids to roast things, but why? Why can't we build a fire for us? Thank you for the new date idea!

  3. It's kind of awesome that you got a text back that said he was going to burn stuff and you were completely on board.
    Note: "I'm not sure how, but..." this sentiment comes up a couple of times in this post. But the end result is really great and makes for a healthy conversation. And your "no religion, no politics rule" is blown all to hell and I love it. Great example of how taking a chance outside a comfort zone can lead to, well, a Scott. Well done.

  4. Around here, we love backyard fires, at least in the Spring and Fall. I've never had a date fire with the Mrs., but we gather the whole family around the pit, and sometimes friends. Sometimes LOTS of friends. I heard somewhere that if you're roasting something it's a cook fire, and that's legal. But if you're not, it's a bonfire, which is illegal. So we always make sure to have some hot dogs, little smokies, s'mores... something. We haven't gotten in trouble yet.

  5. I refuse to talk politics with most people and I'm usually very vague when it comes to discussing religion. I know what I believe and while I don't expect everyone to agree, I would like mutual respect from everyone. Believe whatever you want but let me do the same, and its all good.

  6. A memorable evening, in more ways than one, what a lovely to take time out with the one you love.

  7. Burning stuff is probably the most fun date there is!! So much love. :0)



  8. Ah, there is nothing like bonding over lighting stuff on fire.

  9. No need to say Whoops! for I completely agree. If that doesn't solve anything, I don't know what does. ;) I also think it's ridiculous for a superbeing to want not-so-superbeings like ourselves to worship it. 'Ant! Say I'm great! Built a church and sing for me!' Only humans can come up with such a plot.

    Whoops! Now I broke my rule too. It's all your fault. Good thing this was predestined.

  10. Mmm... I don't know. I think God knows all possibilities, but leaves us to choose. Still, He wouldn't be God if He couldn't help us out here and there. ;-)

    Strange, things like this used to bother me, but now, I'm happy to float along without an opinion.