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Swinging
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As I recall swings of my childhood, I equate the swinging with happy memories. How is it possible to swing and not feel happy? There’s an elation to the movement, be it just up in the air a little ways like a porch swing or a glider that simply moves back and forth or one that allows you to fly high up as a tree swing or a gym-style yard swing.

I remember an old, fat dog named Judy, who used to sit and seemed to smile at me when I visited a childhood friend and we sat on her swing and giggled. Over the years, a variety of cats shared swings with me. My cats always shared my secrets with me or at least I told them my secrets.

I even hold memories of a long vine swing that hung high in a woodland tree that was communally owned (the swing, that is) by many kids. It seems that swing was always there. I have no idea who first put it there in the trees, probably a father who wanted the neighborhood boys to enjoy pretending they were Tarzan. But we girls enjoyed it too.

My happiest childhood swing times however were sitting on a homemade swing, hung from a great old tree, with a wooden seat made by a friend’s dad.

An early parenthood memory is a tandem swing we bought for our backyard. The kids loved it! Four swingers could fit and swing at a time. It not only served as a fun swing but as make-believe trolley cars and airplanes.

Good Family Memories

Swings definitely hold good family memories for me. As my husband and I grew older, a porch swing became our swing of choice, though styled differently from earlier ones. It hung from chains in an A- frame. Yet it moved just the same way. We held hands for long spells as we sat and on summer evenings, swinging and talking. We usually talked happy-talk but sometimes the talk turned to problems we faced. It seemed the very act of slowly swinging helped us come to a resolve.

We’ve downsized now and have no room for a full-sized swing on our small porch. Recently we visited new friends who are swing enthusiasts. They have five, two on their front porch, two on their back patio and one in a picnic area they’ve built on their acreage. When I saw those swings, I turned into Goldilocks and just had to try them all. Such fun.

Swings even make me think of the Bible. For me they are like the soothing sounds of a harp such as David might have played. They bring a sense of joy, erase cares of the day, and provide relaxing moments. Yes, and even serve as a place to solve family problems.

A new small love seat-style swing is soon to replace the folding chairs on our small apartment porch because we don’t have Israel’s sweet singer/harpist around but we remember the next best: a swing.

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By Betty Kossick. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.


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