Digitize This, by Marlene Bruce

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Rural MD—Bonfire at Meg and Joe's

October 11, 2003

[photos below]

I've known Meg and Joe Naab for 10 years, since before they were dating. They now live on a small farm an hour or so outside DC with their two darling boys, Billy and Leo. Meg's one of my favorite people and I wish I had more time to spend with her.

The Naab's have bonfires on occasion and this week they announced last minute plans for a Saturday night blaze, in honor of John's birthday. It was nice that the late-ish notice meant a more intimate gathering. I packed along my tent and other gear, plus some effigy making materials (just in case I could talk others into burning effigies).

Before leaving for the party, Kristin and I stopped by R.E.I. to buy folding camp stools. The sky was stunning when we left. We arrived at the farm after dark … probably about 8:00. I hunkered down by the fires (there was also a kiddy campfire) and didn't even go inside for food or drink (thanks for delivering the apple pie a la mode, Kristin!). Someone brought tasty homemade veggie sushi.

Four of us made effigies. Kristin's was about distance between friends. Mine represented fear—but looked too stylish to be fully effective. Meg declined to explain hers, just saying it was "a grass man." Gina sneered at her effigy of George Bush and made some derogatory comments. Thanks ladies for joining me!

Below are shots from the bonfire. It was really big—throwing sparks and burning material so high I feared the nearby woods might alight from the lodging embers. Much later, about 3:00 AM I set up my tent and went to sleep. The cool air and crickets were just what I needed. Yes, I was awoken by the roosters a couple hours later, but I conked right back out.

In the morning John woke me just as everyone was leaving for the Rennaissance Festival. (Oh my goodness, I just realized I never reimbursed Radagast for my ticket!) I was instructed to use the house and eat food as needed. I made myself an omelete from their chickens' eggs, ate some scrumptious apple coffee cake, and departed for the Ren Fest an hour later. Sat drinking wine in a pub with folks for a goodly time until I saw Kevin Hollenbeck walking past and snagged him. We spent what was left of the afternoon walking and eating.

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