Posted by: bree1972 | February 22, 2010

Just An Old Wooden Swing 02/23/2010

It’s just an old wooden swing. 

Being outside all this weekend – for the first time in several months –  had me surveying the whole yard for what needed to be dug up, pruned back, painted, rebuilt, or replaced.  After butchering some oleander bushes in the backyard, I went inside, filled a plastic bottle with ice and water, and went back out to rest a few minutes.  Starting across the yard, I stopped mid-stride.  When in the world had our swing gotten so dilapidated-looking?

I wish I had pictures of how the swing looked when we bought it – the year we moved into this house – that would have been 1996.  I can remember saying over and over, “We live on the water.  We have to have a swing in the backyard so we can sit out there in the afternoon and watch the boats go by.”  So Ted gave me one for Mother’s Day.

It didn’t look anything like it does now.  It was fancy!  The swing part was a separated two-seater with green canvas- cushioned seats that were so comfortable you just wanted to settle in and spend the day.  Overhead was a matching green canvas cover that kept the sun, pinecones, and bird poop off your head.  It was the Cadillac of swings, and I loved it.  So did my Mom.  When she would come up and spend the weekend, we would take our cokes out there and swing and chat and look at magazines together.  We’d usually end up holding hands, just quietly watching the water and the birds.  What peace.

During the swing’s second summer, there was a big storm, and we awoke the next morning to find it toppled over close to the water.  The wind had caught all that canvas and sailed it across the yard.  The top was a little torn – but no big deal – we just moved it further from the water.  The next summer – an even bigger storm.  And this time the swing landed upside down in the lake beyond the seawall.  The wooden frames for the seats were busted, the canvas top torn apart.  We considered taking the whole thing apart and disposing of it – but the outside frame was still perfectly good – except for a front leg that looked as if we were preparing it to become the bow of a boat.  But we thought that just made it unique-looking.  We bought a bench-type wooden seat to hang from the frame, and back it went into the yard. Without the canvas, it never went into the water again.

Over the years that swing has seen a lot of special moments.  Mom got to hold Jordan, her great-granddaughter, in her lap and swing her one summer, and Jordan and Matthew have both sat on my lap, or beside me – swinging on a warm spring day and even one Thanksgiving when the weather was good. 

It’s been my resting place in happy times – reading on a lazy Fall day, watching the dogs chase each other around the yard, sitting with Ted talking about how blessed we are, waiting for Ted to come around the bend in his kayak, sitting with a friend sharing a glass of wine.  Too many others to even count.

And it’s been my refuge in sad times – a place to retreat for a moment alone – after both my Daddy and my Mom’s deaths, when I’m worried about the children or the grandchildren, after saying goodbye to Blake before he left for China the first time.  Again, too many others to count.

I’ve sat on that swing and cried my heart out, and I’ve sat there and laughed until I couldn’t breathe.  I’ve prayed on that swing, and my prayers have always been answered – sometimes with a “yes”, sometimes with a “no”, sometimes with a quiet “wait”.

It’s just an old wooden swing.  But it has character.  And it will stay right where it is – crooked leg and all.


For Friday’s Recipe Day, let’s do Breakfast Dishes.  That could be muffins, breakfast casseroles, your favorite omelet recipes, etc.  Email those to me at by Thursday afternoon!

“The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch swing with, never say a word, then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation that you ever had.”



  1. Oh Brenda, how special that old swing is. It’s definitely a keeper, thats for sure. I have a wooden bench that really doesn’t have any meaning to me, not like your swing does to you, that sure could use a good coat of paint. It doesn’t get much use, but I still keep it. I just …like know what I mean. 😉

  2. Hi Bree, loved your swing story! For me it’s an old chair that was a “trash to treasure” project…I painted it up pretty & it has a special place under a favorite huge, old Maple tree that gives the best ‘umbrella’ of shade in the summertime. It gives me joy just to see it sit there, waiting for me…Right now though, it’s covered in SNOW, with a winter pine branch arrangement on it. So I guess I’ll close my eyes & dream of sitting a spell on your swing, feeling that warm sunshine, with that glass of wine…ahhhhh..

    Jane in Minnesota

  3. Beautiful. It’s amazing that as we get older certain items have all sorts of memories attached to them. I’m turning 37 this year and I find myself looking back on memories much more often. My Grandma T in Minnesota had a bunch of glass trees that i would always want to put out every Christmas with her. When she passed away in 1995, I made it known that I wanted those. So every November when we decorate, I pull out those trees. Some I’ve received since from my aunt and uncle, and there are only about 2 that I know for sure are the part of the original collection (they are so much different than the rest). But they bring me such wonderful memories of my grandparents whom I am missing so much more every day.

    • Hi Kristi!

      If you have already begun “collecting” items that reflect sweet memories at 37, just wait until you hit your 60’s! I so wish I had begun earlier to put aside a few precious “hands-on” memories that are now lost forever. Good for you for recognizing the need to do that at your “young” age. Good to hear from you – Brenda

  4. What a beautiful tribute to character. Sometimes we dismiss the imperfect but each imperfection has a story to tell. I always thought about writing a Country Western song titled “My Chassis’ Gotten Dinged in the Parking Lot of Life”. Be it old people or cherished objects, let’s celebrate the patina that comes with life well lived.

    • Write that song, Cathie! It will win a Grammy! I’m thinking Reba McEntire or George Strait.

  5. I love sitting in my porch swing especially with a glass of ice tea and a good book

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