My parents live on a big piece of property in Schoolcraft where my brother and I both grew up. About 20 years ago they bought the property and built the log home they live in now. When they purchased the land, there already stood two old barns and a large silo. The farm house that once neighbored the structures burnt down years before - a fitting history to the annual event hosted on the property each year.
Each fall, my Mom and Dad invite their friends (and pretty much anyone they come into contact with - they very welcoming people) for the annual bonfire. By fall, the burn pile is usually towering high with items friends (lots of the same ones who show up for the party) have dropped off throughout the summer. Old wooden siding, Grandma's replaced old couch, scraps from a summer project... you name it, it gets tossed on the pile.
And it goes without saying, the fire isn't your typical 'yuppy-fire' as my parents call it. It's large and requires an annual call to the local fire department to acquire a permit. And while it was cold this weekend, the fire warmed us right up.
Throughout the night there's beer pong (in recent years a very serious father-son tournament has taken place), there's lots of food, kegs of beer, and good conversation. When people aren't standing by the fire they are inside the giant silo where the beer pong and food is set up. Years ago my Dad cut a large swinging door in the side of the silo and strung sets of Christmas lights from the ceiling making it an ideal party pad. When it's not filled with friends they use it for storage.
Jeff and I do our best to make it home as often as we can to hang with family, but it's not often we get to interact with their community. It was nice to catch up with friends from my small home town even though most all of them had the scoop on our lives before we event opened our mouths - we can thank my proud parents for that!