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The Gatherer

The guy next door asked me if we needed some wood. "This should get you through the night," he said as he dumped logs by our fire pit on the beach. But it was weird, he seemed so concerned about our well being, almost like he was helping a homeless person. True, it was our first night in the RV on its maiden voyage to a state park…..we probably looked like newbies…..and our tiny 21 foot RV was parked next to all these huge guys with outdoor kitchens, custom lighting, flat screens that popped out of the sides, BBQ’s, smokers, pop ups, slide outs, lamps, tables, carpets….you name it, they had. One lady had a blower, yup a leaf blower….damn, I left mine in the garage at home…who the hell needs a leaf blower at the beach?

I just brought some tools, a can of fix-a flat, LED camp lights, pillows, the manual on how to operate the Rialto…….my wife bought a bag of FLOUR..don’t ask.

I could not figure it out. His generosity, his concern - seemed so real. But we were doing just fine, after all, we had just ridden our bikes into town and had a very nice dinner at a fancy restaurant called Sly's with white linen napkins, then stopped for a bottle of wine for Nancy and bottle of Baileys for me.

Then it dawned on me. See, my wife is a gatherer and master fire maker. I actually think she has a little “fire” problem. Whenever we go somewhere and there is even the remote possibility that we might have a fire, she starts foraging for wood, and sticks, and kindling….and just can’t wait, shall we say, to fire it up.

I don't pay attention to it anymore, but to the casual observer, it this case our RV neighbor, her gathering mode probably looked like a poor woman on her last dollar desperately scrounging for firewood. That visual, coupled with our tiny 20 foot, 20 year old RV with faded decals and absence of flat screen TV and other accruements made us look like….well, made us look like we probably could not afford marshmallows, let alone the wood to roast them up.

I graciously accepted the well seasoned firewood and my wife started up the fire pit with the zeal and excitement of someone that a fire marshall would question and make mental note of.

We toasted a glass of red wine and Baileys. And I drifted off to sleep wondering why there is flour in our tiny tiny fridge.

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