Aunt Helene

The boys and I went on a camping trip this past weekend to Forever Florida. We had tons of fun ziplining, horseback riding, and hiking. Our campsite was incredibly remote, a 20 minute drive down a dirt road through wilderness and cow pastures, and we were the only campers for miles around.

I started arranging the cut pieces of wood into my typical campfire configuration.

“Can we do build it like a tee-pee?” my youngest son asked.

“Okay.” I took my stack apart and started over.

“How about like this?” he asked, moving wood around. “We can balance it.”


I was more focused on the small sticks. There was very little tinder available, and it had rained the night before. I was more concerned about just getting something to catch fire than I was about the final shape of the thing.

Ten minutes later, as I was muttering about wet wood and no tinder and how few matches we’d brought, my oldest son balanced on a log. “I wish Aunt Helene was here.”

“Were here,” I corrected. “Why?”

“She can start a fire anywhere!”

“Yeah,” his little brother chimed in. “She’s legendary.”

“Even in the rain.”

“With only one match!”

“And it’s really quick.”

“I heard that she even started a fire floating on the – ”

“Yes,” I interrupted. “You’re right. She’s a legendary fire-starting force of nature. Now shut up.”

They laughed and continued ruminating about the wondrous fire powers of my sister, and how handy she would be to have on a camping trip, and how surprising it is that she didn’t teach her little brother any of her secrets.

For the record, I did get the fire started. It ended up being a tee-pee, and I only used one book of matches.

2 thoughts on “Aunt Helene

  1. Nana says:

    Helene uses ONE match. But when did they camp with Helene, or have they been listening to tall stories???

  2. […] campfire during our last camping tripĀ ended up being darn near perfect. The drizzling rain passed us by, resulting in a beautiful sunset […]

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