This morning while walking down Emmons Boulevard, I strongly resisted the urge to plop down, push off and go airborne, as I walked past a mighty maple tree from which now hangs an old-fashioned swing. On the heels of my post about homes with a country theme, this place continues to be one of my favorites. The front yard is laden with clever country knick-knacks. A “clay pot man” has flowers growing in his hat and sits comfortably on the top porch step. The huge “Welcome” flag beckons you to come “set a spell” and have lemonade with the family on the ample porch. This morning there was a new addition to the house however. Hats off to Dad for climbing to a high and stealthy branch in this huge tree, tightening two thick ropes and knotting them to a cherry-red wooden slat. Voila!! You kids have got a new ride. This is not just any old swing, but clearly one that is homemade with lots of love. The huge knots on either side of the ample seat will give these kids plenty of room to grow, or perhaps for now, just sit side-by-side and swing to their heart’s desire. Not that a big tire hanging from a knotted rope in a tree isn’t just as efficient of course, but this just looks plain ol’ fun. I have to admit I am jealous. Is there any simpler childhood pastime than swinging on a swing? How carefree you felt; the sky was your limit and you begged your Dad to push you higher (no, higher Dad … higher!) I never had a swing or a swing set in the yard when I was growing up. My father was persnickety about his lawn, and though my mother and grandmother tried to advocate on my behalf, a swing set never found its way to my backyard. Oh well, I wasn’t hard done by and got my “swing fix” at recess in the schoolyard, or sometimes I enjoyed going down the slide or playing on the teeter totter with my school chums at E.A. Orr playground. We never had monkey bars and I never tried them until I came to the U.S.
The best part of recess and after school was jumping rope. My friends and I would jump rope for hours if permitted to. There was jumping with a solitary rope – well, that was easy. Then there was the intricate Chinese jump rope wherein you honed your skills of jumping in and out and not touching the elastic bands or you were disqualified and had to step away. There was skipping rope in tandem, or Double-Dutch”, and I’m not talking about hot chocolate or a Baskin Robbins flavor!! How fun that was!! Every jump or skip through the rope had you and onlookers chanting rhymes and ditties to keep you goin’ and goin’ ….
Enjoy your swing kids – too soon you will grow up and this swing and the other simple childhood pleasures will be cast aside when reality sets in.