Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Tree Swing


 I have this memory of a tree swing at my grandparents' country home.  It hangs from a huge weeping willow tree branch in New Mexico and it's where I spent countless hours as a child swinging and daydreaming. 

We have a couple huge trees on our property (and when I say huge, I mean huge).  When we first moved, my husband hung a swing from one of the trees and we had so much fun swinging from it.  But unfortunately, last year the tree had to come down as it was dying and since then we have been meaning to hang another.


 So over the weekend, in the midst of working on the chicken house and installing a new kitchen floor, I added another project to our my husband's list and asked him to cut a piece of old barn wood that I could sand for the base of the swing.  In my mind, it was just a simple project of tying a rope to a piece of wood and hanging it, but fortunately Justus was a little more realistic and put some more time in it to ensure it would be a swing to last (smile).


 The base of the swing is 20" long.  It's an extremely old piece of wood that was warped, but that made it just perfect for this project.  I sanded it and applied a coat of poly before Justus drilled holes on each end and bought 30' of hemp rope to string through the holes.  He had the perfect location for the swing, but it meant climbing way up high on the ladder (and scaring me half to death).  He drilled pilot holes in the branch, screwed in eye screws and attached the rope to D-rings. 


 This is the side of the yard that once was our driveway, but we moved it to the other side of the yard last year and gradually the grass has started to grow back.  You can kind of see in the picture above how the rope is secured to the branch.


  There is something so magical about climbing on this old-fashioned swing... inevitably, you feel like a kid again as you go flying through the air and there is just no way you can keep a smile off your face.


 Of course Jillian goes running for the swing any time we go outside. 


 "Higher, higher...!"


 Rosetta has gotten her turn as well, although she's a bit more cautious (or maybe I should say, I'm a bit more cautious). 


I love her sweet little laughter.  


Isn't it funny how our childhood memories can influence us later on so much?  I didn't really realize until writing this how many little things I enjoy and find beauty in because of memories at my grandparents'.  Like the sound of our screen door squeaking as it opens and closes, and how I planted lemon-balm by our front porch because it reminded me of the peppermint my grandma always had growing next to their patio.  Every time I sit on our new wooden swing, it just takes me back to those carefree summer days as a child... I can almost smell the peppermint and the roses and hear the screen door slam as I would swing back and forth...

37 comments:

  1. Tree swings do have magical qualities. My children used ours for many a year, until recently when teenage pursuits absorbed their time. *sigh*

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  2. Oh hours and hours of fun ! Your girls will love it !!! Hope your well and have a great night and weekend

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  3. How sweet Andrea. I love the swing! I love reading your thoughts on your childhood. Precious times then and now.

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  4. Wonderful! And, sorry, but can't resist the Robert Louis Stevenson:

    How do you like to go up in a swing,
    Up in the air so blue?
    Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
    Ever a child can do!

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  5. they already love it, don't they:) i put in an old wood screen door, just to hear it slam--a fav memory from my childhood! great post, andrea!

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  6. So many lovely sentiments Andrea. Loved this post. And your girls faces, priceless not to mention the work your hubby Justus did to fasten and secure that. God love him. See I'm a country girl at heart who grew up in the city. So the past 20 years that we have lived in the country have meant the world to me. I've created my own memories, the memories I didn't have of growing up in the country, of swinging on the branches of an old willow or catching fireflies on a summer night in my yard with only a mason jar and bare feet. But my sons know that and I have given those memories to them. They shall always cherish the sounds of our screen door swinging or the vision of swirling bats at dusk above their heads. The everyday sightings of deer and foxes, racoons and bunny's and the memory of my neighbors horses and sneaking them apples under the fence when he wasn't looking. I am thankful. We are truly blessed.

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  7. Living in the country means that you have to have a swing hanging from a tree. Unfortunately, all of our trees were straight as a board so my children couldn't have one growing up. Your daughters look so precious in these pictures and I am sure they will enjoy that swing.

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  8. We always had a rope swing for the kids but don't have one at the house we're at now. I think it's time to get one put up here. Your girls are just adorable- pure joy on those faces-xo Diana

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  9. The expressions on your their faces are beyond sweet. And to think of the memories of their childhood home that are you creating. Can't you just hear them telling their children about the swing they had growing up.....

    I haven't thought of a weeping willow in the longest time. We had one when I was little and I used to play Little House on the Prairie under it. For my birthday when I was about 7, my father made me a play wooden stove so I could pretend cook. :) Thank for making me think of that!

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  10. Your daughter are simply beautiful and how they love that swing. I had one when I was about 10 years old and I love it! Then we moved to the country and a farm and daddy put up a porch swing and I would sit there for hours reading in the summer time.

    Your husband did a really good job of securing the swing. Such happy memories.
    Mary

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  11. What a sweet post about childhood memories and now you are creating them for your daughters. They are so precious.

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  12. Such a nice post. Thank you. You reminded me of summers spent at my aunt and uncle's cottage and how he made a swing for me. He hung it from the highest tree and I wanted to swing all day. My aunt found me later with rope burns on my hands but I still didn't want to stop. I'd never had a swing of my own before. She wrapped plastic shopping bags where I placed my hands and my uncle securely duct taped the plastic. Then I could swing as long as I liked without hurting my hands. J

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  13. How wonderful. I find myself, the older I become, doing more and more of what reminds me of my granny, and the summers I spent with her on her farm. I love when someone says, "your granny would be proud". I would give anything to be near her again. For me, living my life as she did and doing things she once did, brings me closer to her. I feel her presence and her approval. And that makes me smile!

    XO

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  14. Beautiful photos! What a sweet home, filled with love, memories and fun you are making for your girlies.

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  15. How sweet! I believe every child dreams of a swing! Have fun with it!
    Love, Carmen

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  16. Oh yes, these are the best swings to have. So much fun!!
    Mary Alice

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  17. Hello there! I love your swing, it seems just perfect! My husband also made a swing for our children this Christmas. We didn't have a gigantic tree but we still made it work in our favorite Crabapple tree! I can't wait for it to bloom and for them to swing under all those beautiful pink blooms!

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  18. Sweet simple memories…how beautiful that you are recreating them for your girls. I know these things are making a lasting impression on them. :)
    Happy weekend!

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  19. Oh, for the love of a squeaking screen door.
    Nice booty shot of Justus hanging the swing.
    And I love the braid flying in the wind!

    -Angie

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  20. Gorgeous pictures!!! And what wonderful memories you are making for the kiddos. Sometimes it is the simple things like a swing that make the biggest waves in their hearts~so sweet.

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  21. Just this week I was thinking of buying one!....
    the simple pleasures of life are awesome.

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  22. Hi Andrea,

    There is something about a swing hanging from a tree.. I have a similar memory:) Your kids will enjoy this for years to come!

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  23. Priceless pictures of the girls swinging and giggling and being so happy. I have wanted a tree swing since we have been married but we never have a good spot. Maybe in the new house we can plant a big sturdy tree. Enjoy those lovely moments.

    Cynthia

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  24. This is lovely. Not too long ago I put 2 slamming screen doors on the back of my house just so I could hear the sound! That sound reminds me of summers at the lake where our cottage had one of those doors. Your swing will be forever be one of those memories for your girls. Oh...I sure wish we lived closer so you could give me a lesson in getting crystal clear photos. :o)

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  25. Andrea, oh how I get lost in your posts. I have beautiful memories of my uncles tire swing, remember those? What amazing pictures of the girls! Wishing you a happy weekend, Jen

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  26. Oh the memories of my dad making a swing like that for us....the girls will have many years of enjoyment with the swing...a swing is timeless...everyone, no matter what age, just love sot daydream while swinging away!....have a great weekend seeing the joys and hearing the laughter of your girls on their swing!

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  27. So adorable! The girl's faces are so lit up with excitement!

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  28. This brought back memories of my grandfather making my first swing. Thank you. That was a very, very long time ago. Blessings

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  29. These simple pleasures are the things your beautiful daughters will remember, too. How fun!

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  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  31. (Re-do comment :) What I was trying to say is that I loved your girl's sweet faces! Such a fun thing to do for them.

    http://northislandcottage.blogspot.com/

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  32. The swing looks great. Your girls will enjoy many days on that swing. I too have many memories of my Grandma, especially in the baking department. :-)

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  33. The slap of a screen door is the best sound and good for the soul.

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  34. I love the look on their faces while swinging! Many happy memories of those "old" rope swings, and oh my--just thinking of visits to my grandparents house sends me on a trip down memory lane!

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  35. Beautiful photos and beautiful memories! Thank you for sharing! xoxo

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  36. We had wooden swings hanging from a giant walnut tree at my childhood home. My parent created a little park on the lot next to our house with a teeter totter, swings, monkey bars and the only cement driveway for roller skating. My children never knew that little playground because my parents sold the lot when I was in college.

    Thanks for bringing back a long forgotten memory.

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  37. My sister said she went on here to tell the story about me breaking my arm on a tree swing when I was a kid. I showed her a website that sells cool tree swings, treeswingstore.com, and now she thinks she's an expert again. Guess what, I can still jump out of a swing further than she can!

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