Him Tarzan, Me Jane

Second article I previously published at Giftedwomen.net. about Going Of The Grid.

The cabin sits on a slope looking over the lake. From the screened in porch, you can see the lake, but mostly you see sky and trees. It’s like a tree house, which is good for a former tomgirl who pretended to be Jane of the Jungle. Two weeks since moving into the cabin, I can feel my slothful, suburban, corporate minion ways beginning to leave as the Simple Life unfolds.


Every day, we have done something new and outdoorsy. We had a campfire one night so our son could enjoy the sunset while roasting marshmallows. Hubby patiently showed me and the boy how to build a fire and told us about fire safety. We both nodded our little heads as if we understood. After the lesson, I took a mental photograph and thought, “No problem. I can do that. Me Jane”.

Mind you, I am a reformed corporate banker, so I never got the “light- the- fire- with- one- match” badge in girl scouts. Instead, I worked on my “mergers- and- acquisitions” badge. Hubby however was trained as a Marine Corps sniper; so living in the woods, eating grubs, pooping in catholes, and making fires comes naturally to him. If you give him a loin cloth and a full head of hair, the man could pass for Tarzan.

Recently, I got it in my head that life must be experienced in order to write. At 10:20 pm, I got an impulse to experience lighting a fire in the fire pit, you know, without Tarzan. I attempted to retrieve my Alaskan malamute for moral support. She was a little nervous watching me wander around in the dark with a cigarette lighter and a bunch of pine straw. The look on her face seemed to say, “no thanks, I ‘m wearing a fur coat, and it is still 80 degrees.” Then curled up and went back to sleep.

Despite the dog’s uncooperativeness, I would not be denied. I built a neat wood stack and tucked the pinestraw beneath it; then commenced with the flames. I couldn’t get all of the tinder to light at the same time; a single piece of straw would light then go out. After the 17th try, I had fire. When I looked up, I began to panic because small bits of ash were flying out of the pit! Frantically, I looked for a comfortable place to watch it. I found my son’s itsy bitsy “tot spot” chair, sprayed a force field of bug spray around it, then roosted one of the cheeks on it hoping that it would not collapse like an aluminum can.

After a bit more nesting, I settled into the rhythm of the camp fire. I watched it for a bit; then let it go our unceremoniously. I felt alive and accomplished that I did it on my own and lived to tell about it.

How have you challenged yourself lately by stepping out of your comfort zone?

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