The nature of our backyard changed this week. We have a new swing. It's actually an old swing that someone gave us. They were going to toss it. I loaded that baby up before he changed his mind. We …
The nature of our backyard changed this week. We have a new swing. It's actually an old swing that someone gave us. They were going to toss it. I loaded that baby up before he changed his mind. We found a place in the shade of the pine and sweet gum trees. It looks like it has been there forever.
Jilda and I have never had a swing of our own. We have a glider on our screen porch that Jilda’s mom gave us. There are also lawn chairs, loungers, and benches in the shade of our backyard. But no swing.
Both our parents had swings on their porches when we were growing up. They came as standard equipment. Even on old camp houses without indoor bathrooms, running water, or air conditioning, had swings on their front porches.
Late on those summer evenings after dusk had chased off most of the light, you could hear front-porch swings squeaking in our community. My dad would call across the road to Mr. Parker, “Yawl’s tomatoes doing anything this summer?” Squawk, Squawk. “Yep. I picked one big as a softball this morning,” he might reply. Sometimes there’d be a three-way conversation between neighbors swinging on their front porches.
That was the way people did social networking long before computers, texting, and Facebook.
I missed our old swing. Jilda and I kept saying we were going to get one, but we never did...until this week.
After unloading the old swing, we found its resting place in the yard. It gets full sun in the morning, but by early afternoon, it’s in full shade. The old swing had been the color of butter at one time, but years of duty in front yards had left an aged patina on the finish.
Taking the pressure washer, I washed off most of the sap. The rest seemed to be embedded. I headed for the shed for sandpaper, but Jilda insisted we leave some of it on the swing. Some decorators spend big bucks these days trying to create a finish like the one on our swing, she explained. "It looks well used," she said. I nodded my head in agreement.
The heat index was over 100 today. This evening, a breeze out of the west began to blow. I took a glass of ice tea out and sat on our new/old swing. It felt right.
That evening our great nephew Jordan and his mom joined us for supper. Jilda had baked a chicken, fixed black-eyed peas, fried squash, and a pone of cornbread. While we set the table, we noticed that Jordan was missing in action. I stepped over to the garden door and looked out across the yard. There in the shade at the edge of the yard, I saw him swinging in the new swing. I have a feeling that it will be one of his favorite places to spend time. That apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
Rick Watson is a columnist and author. His latest book Life Goes On is available on Amazon.com. You can contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.