It’s funny. You guys probably came here originally for lib-anarchism, Attitude, practical talk, and good rants. Maybe you stayed for Mad DIY construction projects. But this week I’m talking to you about stuffed sheepdogs and porch swings.
Are you still here?
Might as well get the porch swing out of the way, then go say something Meaningful afterward.
I’ve been wanting a porch swing for years. Coveting a porch swing. But I thought I’d never get one. I couldn’t justify the cost of buying new. But I had very specific requirements — all having to do with the NorthWET climate. Even here, most swings sold in the stores have more in common with parisols than umbrellas.
With the need for a swing to sit outside over the winter and dry itself out pronto after a summer sprinkle, I figured, “Too specific. Even my garage sale-fu must fail at this.” For years, it did.
Then in December, far from garage-sale season, I found that contractor’s moving sale I’ve mentioned before. The sale from which I bought all those moldings and half a bucket of mud. Also an enormous DeWalt drill bit set for $1.00 which, even though only 3/4 complete probably has 50 items.
But the main thing I found was that porch swing. A client had given it to him in bad condition. He sanded it down and put rust-resistant paint on it. In one of my favorite colors. Then he made a permanent wooden seat plus spent $90 on decent cushions for summer.
It was in the category of “more than I set out to spend this morning.” And I was so unprepared for it. But you do not turn away from garage sale-fu.
For $75, delivered, it was mine. I had to stuff a $30 deposit into their hands and promise the rest upon arrival.
Only thing is, the guy never bought or created a canopy. There’s a canopy frame, sanded and painted, but he and his wife were using it as a laundry line. So eventually I have to figure out something.
This weekend has been sunny. Nippy. But both sunny and dry. I saw daffodils yesterday. In bloom. There is distant hope of spring.
I took Ava out and introduced her to the swing, which was dry for the first time since I got it.
She jumped right up on it and didn’t seem startled by the sway. So I had her sit and I slowly started rocking.
She was dubious at first, but I petted her and told her I’d stop or let her jump off any time. She understood my meaning. I could see her relaxing into the motion.
Then … even a little bliss. Sun shining down. Mom paying attention. Back and forth, back and forth. The bliss would last a few seconds, then the direction or pace of swing would change and she was out of the zone, physically wobbling, and uneasy again.
The problem was that she insisted on sitting sideways, facing me. No amount of persuasion would convince her to sit face-forward to align herself with the motion of the swing. Had she done so, I expect she’d have been a happy, happy girl. As is, she was off-balance and not doing as well as she could have. Her mini-meditations were jolted abruptly away.
Later, I tried to get her to pose in the swing for that picture. But without me, she wasn’t havin’ it.
Now I guess I’m expected to say something long about here. something Deep. Maybe an observation on “getting sideways with life and how to get straight with it again.” That seems to fit. I might say it yet, though you guys hardly need it.
Maybe I should also say something about stopping to smell the roses. Yeah, that would be original.
Possibly I should apologize for filling your blog time with insubstantial dribblings.
I should probably end with, “Next time: Tacticool Tactics for Operating Operationally in Your Squad of Operators.” Or “Next time: 10 EZ Ways to Cook the Weevils You Find In Your Inadequately Stored Mac & Cheese After the Apocalypse.” How ’bout “Next time: Dazzlingly Written Rage Over Something in the World That I’m Not Going to Do a Single Thing About”?
Um … nope.
Sometimes things speak for themselves. Like sharing spots of sunshine with a well-loved friend on a well-built, fu-powered porch swing on a winter’s day. They speak up and say, “Remember why life’s worth living.”