Fire Start With Me

Let’s gather ‘round the campfire and sing our campfire song. 

As these South Central Wisconsin nights get longer and frostier, indoors can start to feel rather stifling. Don’t get me wrong, I love the little nest that I call home. But there’s an occasional Friday night when I feel as if there’s a whole world of wonder that I’m missing out on when I lock onto my couch. When that craving for the night comes knocking, I give word to my boyfriend (shoutout Cole), pull on a sweater and grab my sherpa-lined denim Carhartt vest ($10 at a yard sale this Summer, it’s way too big for me but a major score nonetheless) and my trusty headlamp and head for the garage. There’s usually some wood in there, and some wayward sticks and kindling and such. I dutifully bring the necessary materials onto the driveway where the firepit awaits. I’ve got the gear, I’ve got the moxie and it’s time for a fire. 

My enthusiasm to start fires is somewhat recent. During the early days of the pandemic, I spent many nights huddled around a campfire in the backyard staring into the flames and spacing out while listening to music and drinking a fun drink, trying hard to feel hopeful. These days, I see (intentional) fires in the backyard as a celebration. It’s a chance to feel connected, to tap out of scrolling Twitter on my phone or staring at the television, and have a chat with Cole or our upstairs neighbor (if he decides to come down from his lair and chill with us). Cole likes starting fires too and I have learned a bit of technique from watching him get a flame going. There are so many different odds and ends that can make for a good start to a fire (dryer lint, scrap paper bits and pine needles to name a few) but have you ever tried an old Beeswax Wrap? That’s right, those amazing food storage wraps not only help your food breathe but they also breathe life into a fire. Simply cut up your old Beeswax Wrap into half inch strips and bunch loosely to make a brilliant ball that will catch fire with ease.

Fire is fun (so long as you are safe!). It’s clearly laden with nostalgia for me and I’m sure for a lot of you readers out there too. It reminds me of cool evenings where I lost feeling in my nose but was laughing too hard to care or a hearty morning meal cooked on the cast iron after a night sleeping under the stars. It was also around the fading embers of a campfire that Cole and I first exchanged the incendiary phrase “I love you”, and with each passing day, those words burn more true for me. So next time you feel couch-locked, grab your honey or a friend and head for the nearest fire pit. You might find that it’s more fun than you remembered. 

Lovingly yours, 


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Hanna Kohn

Hanna Kohn is the Operations Manager & Marketing Coordinator with Green Life Trading Co. where she has been educating and connecting individuals and small businesses with sustainable products and solutions since 2021. She holds a degree in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a Sustain Dane Master Recycler and Water Steward. When she's not at the shop, Hanna volunteers at WVMO 98.7 FM - Monona's Community Radio Station where she hosts Playhouse, a weekly broadcast of music including contemporary electronic, synth pop and jazz. Connect with Hanna via email: