Farewell Dear Swing

We took down our old front porch swing this week, my baby son and I.

He’s 28 years old, but he will always be my baby.

We replaced it with a new one from Wayfair, so I needed a Millenial to assemble it for me.

It was a decision that we had been sitting with for a couple of years now. The swing was old when it came to me over 30 years ago.  Many layers of black paint are peeling out of control to reveal a light green base paint that was there where I received it. Both of my grand babies and I have taken to peeling the paint, which I’m sure has a high VOC rating and may even have oil based, lead paint in the layers-so for the safety of all of us, we needed to make a change.  Also the chains had become so rough and rusty, that my granddaughter would touch them, then thought it was a fun game to wipe the flakes on MaeMae.

I had to stop that madness.

Over the years, the swing has been lightly sanded and repainted several times, but now it needs a chemical peel. A light sanding won’t help the old girl.

I know exactly how she feels.

My hub and I have committed to simplifying everything we can around the house as we become sexagenarians.  ( Don’t you just love that word? You better believe I’m gonna be using it a lot the next 10 years!!!) The new swing is made of synthetic wood which should never need to be painted.

For as long as we both shall live.

The old swing has served me well throughout my life. Before coming to Maryland it hung on the front porch on another farmhouse, one in Tennessee, where I lived my senior year of college with a precious family. Surrounded by the East Tennessee mountains, I laid on the swing and studied my huge Med-Surg book in nursing school, took long naps in the summer rain and wrote weekly letters to a cute Maryland farm boy.

It was a happy day for me when they gifted my beloved swing to me and it made the journey north to our 200 year old farmhouse. Countless snapshots of life are in my photo books and in my mind, of the 3 little boys who grew up on this swing. Sitting together during summer storms to calm our new puppy who was afraid of thunder, waiting for dinner to finish cooking while swinging, a porch crammed with friends taking turns in the rockers and on the swing and even the time all the boys had chicken pox WITH their daddy, swinging in the April breeze. Here I have cried many tears -away from my family’s eyes, had many long conversations on the phone and with Jesus, and simply listened to the sound of the steam going over the rocks.

Most recently, it is the place my grand babies love to be. I started swinging with them as I gave them a bottle and looked deep into their eyes and said,”We’re gonna be big friends, you and me”. I swing them to sleep and sing as loud as I want (because we live in the country and don’t have close neighbors). I sing “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands”, “Jesus Loves Me” and “You are My Sunshine”.

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Because they are.

I let them eat popsicles on the swing in the summer and when they are teething. I even have bundled them up in warm blankets in the winter, when the inside air seems stale and taken them to the swing. We read books and talk about birds, cows and tractors.  It’s a good place to learn about life and how much MaeMae and Jesus loves them.

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We have taken millions of pictures on the old swing: informal of course, usually as a last minute thought because we don’t want to forget even ordinary moments. We have taken the 4 generations pics on the swing and these are so special to me-I’m thankful for both my parents to hold their great grandkids here in Maryland.

 

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I’m doing good, so far, not being too sentimental over the old swing, since the new one went up right away. Still, it’s going to take some getting used to… the back is not quite as high as the old one was, and the slats are spaced a little further apart, but it sits comfortably and in the long run, that’s all that matters.

I am now looking to replace our heavy wooden porch rockers with something similar, so that my children will rise up and call me blessed for saving them future projects at mom and dad’s house.

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                                                Last look at the old swing

 

 

You have to think ahead when you are a sexagenarian.

 

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Here’s a sweet poem I found about old porch swings, I love it ( just a little corny) and I would feel so blessed to think friends and family thought this about our swing.

 

Grandma’s Place by Louis Gander

The paint was cracked and weathered,

The ‘welcome’ chimes would ring.

But grandma’s place was special with

her old porch swing.

 

Her dinners were delicious

her cookies she would bring,

as rich aromas found me on

her old porch swing

 

At times the wooden seat was damp.

The morning dew would cling,

but I couldn’t keep from sitting on

her old porch swing.

 

The chains, stressed on occasion,

that held a many thing,

as every friend kept resting on

her old porch swing.

 

Served well those rusty bolts,

Though not for queen or king,

but all the folk were welcomed on

her old porch swing.

 

The conversations several-

the arm rest, everything-

as we discussed my problems on

her old porch swing.

 

Nothing makes my heart so glad

and nothing makes it sing,

until I think of grandma on

her old porch swing.

 

Many years have long since passed.

To memories, I cling-

those days I sat with grandma on

her old porch swing.

 

The workers razed the homestead

In fear, the birds took wing,

but always in my memory is-

her old porch swing

 

Some say it wasn’t special

nor good for anything-

yet, that’s where I found Jesus – on

her old porch swing.

 

Blessings,

Stephanie

This entry was posted in Family, Farm, Midlife Maze. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Farewell Dear Swing

  1. Nancy S Wirth says:

    Loved this! So many memories.

  2. Pamela Harne says:

    ❤️🌹cherish the memories.

  3. LB says:

    Okay-you made the tears flow today. Such sweetness-and the task of aging is knowing when to let go… I love you.

  4. KIM ILL says:

    Ohhhh Stephanie this blog needed a warning for Kleenex.
    i loved reading every word.
    I loved the pictures as well.
    Great memories out on that porch.
    Letting go…easier said than done for me.
    Love ya…..

    • Stephanie says:

      It’s one of the hardest parts of getting older I think. But we all have to do it, one way or another, right?

  5. Hiker Babe says:

    What a sweet post! Your porch reminds me a bit of the set from “The Waltons.” Your old swing was certainly well-traveled, with such a rich history! The great grandchildren are adorable!

  6. Lisa says:

    What a lovely tribute to your old swing and such precious pictures, too. Enjoyed reading this so much.
    Lisa

  7. Cathy Potter says:

    I’ve spent many a day on that porch swing! Love this story Stephanie and brought back so many memories

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