• Lifestyles

Hard work leads to a fire pit

The firepit! It's certainly not a fire pit built by a mason, but it's perfect for what I need. Lifestyles photo by Katie Collins.

By Katie Collins lifesnews51@gmail.com

Follow Katie @Lifestyles51

A little sweat and hard work can make a large task feel good once it’s complete. There was a pile of bricks and an assortment of broken stones behind the shed for years because while my dad was a skilled mason, he never found the time to organize the countless bricks and stones due to his other jobs and so, they laid in an ugly mass mixed with weeds. Finally, six years after his passing I had the time to do something with the rubble that was so large, I didn’t know where to begin, for concern of snakes and critters possibly hidden within it all.

With a wheelbarrow and a shovel in hand, one by one, then two by two or three by four I was scooping the bricks up and tossing them into the barrel. Once full, I decided to make myself a brick wall, but there would be no cement.

The wall! With an array of randomly shaped bricks and some stones, it stands hidden behind the shed in my yard. Lifestyles photo by Katie Collins.

At first I questioned if the moisture of the ground would be an issue for the bricks and stones, but it dawned on me that they had endured all weather since they had sat in a pile for many years. So, one by one I placed them and crisscrossed them as I laid layer after layer. While I’m not sure how a mason would structure such a wall, it seemed logical. The base was made of larger stones that I figured could act as a foundation of sorts.

As I traveled back and forth from the pile to my wall, the only purpose I saw at the time for the bricks was for repairs of a sidewalk my dad made years ago. Then, something was said about a fire pit and although I questioned my ability to build one, thank goodness for YouTube!

A few of the many bricks that were used to build a wall and a fire pit in the backyard. Lifestyles photo by Katie Collins.

I never had an interest in a fire pit, but I realized a fire pit would be the perfect way to get rid of leaves and branches. So, I removed a few layers of ground, placed the bricks and filled it with stones. With a few of my own adjustments, it was too easy.

Since the pit was completed, I’ve cleared all of the dead branches and have run out of fuel for fires now. So, in the meantime the pit remains available for future branches and leaves because that’s one thing that’s to be certain, they will fall once the season comes.

As I traveled back and forth from the pile to my wall, only a few feet apart, seeing the progress was exciting because of the difference the removal of the mix made on the landscape. Now, with the pile gone and the pit built, it feels good to see what came from a little hard work that really wasn’t hard, just time consuming.

It took two, possibly three days to build due to a few breaks and not working all day, but now complete, I wish I took a picture of the initial pile because the area where it was is quite large as shown in the picture.

The area behind the shed where countless bricks and stones once lay for years upon years and have finally been used to build both a fire pit and a wall. Lifestyles photo by Katie Collins.

While I’m certainly not a mason, and the bricks aren’t placed as refined as if it were an actual job, for my first project it looks good considering what was.

When there’s a large task to be done, the initial enthusiasm can be hard to have, but thinking about what will come in the end makes the hard work worthwhile.

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