The country music artist John Anderson released the iconic song entitled "Just as Swingin'" in 1983. Scratching through AM radio dial recently, I came across that song, and it made me smile. It occurred to me that Jilda and I lived here on the farm for years before we got a swing. The story behind it is interesting.
When our elderly neighbor across the road began having health issues a few years ago, I started keeping a closer check on him. His only daughter was an attorney that lived out west. When I would see a change in him during one of my visits, I would send her a text or give her a call. It was the neighborly thing to do. She was grateful.
When he died, I helped place his dog in a forever home and kept an eye on his place until his daughter could figure out a path forward. His grass grew as fast as mine, so each time I mowed my lawn, I would mow his. That way, the place didn't look abandoned. Looking abandoned in rural areas is an open invitation for ne'er do wells.
The last time she came home, she gave me some of the things that her dad loved. There were some tools, a few books, and the swing that sat in front of his house.
Moving the swing was cumbersome. The swaying chains and swing smacked my knuckles, knees, and my right elbow. We placed the swing at the edge of the yard in the shade of a sweet gum tree. The only reason we chose that location was that it was the closest shade to the driveway.
We knew we'd move it somewhere else in the yard, but it was low on our priority list.
One afternoon a few weeks ago, Jilda and I were "just a swingin'." The sound of the squeaking chains was a sonic tonic. Asking her to get up and gently push the swing while I took a nap was probably risky. So, we sat there enjoying the blissful moment.
After a while, she pointed across the yard and said, "I think this swing would be better if it was sitting over there."
I never question her taste in the positioning of yard-thangs, so we stood and wagged it squeaking to the new location. A moment later, when we sat down, I knew she was right because it was now in a perfect position to watch the setting sun.
A few days later, while at the local produce stand, we bought a Mandevilla with red and white blossoms. We set the Mandevilla on one side of the swing and wound its tentacles up the swing poles. On the other side, we added a raised bed of climbing cucumbers.
Since then, the plants seem to be in a race to see which one can form a canopy over our heads.
We try to sit in the swing each evening and watch the setting sun. Some people say that feng shui is a bunch of hooey. Maybe they're right, but this much I know for sure – that swing is now where it needs to be. And we were swingin', yes we were swinging…