Friday, September 18, 2009

In the Swing of Things

Hmmmm. I just can't help but speculate on the backstory here. Dig this:

Perhaps the homeowner always wanted a tree swing when he was a boy but his parents never let him have one. So he vowed that when he had little ones of his own he would give them everything he never had. But the children never came, and the tree kept growing, so the man kept changing out the rope, year after year, hoping that maybe someday...

No, that's too depressing.

Maybe the owner is a hardworking, well-respected professional -- an accountant or endocrinologist -- and he always says the same thing when people ask about the swing. "Came with the house," he laughs. "Just can't bear to take it down." But late at night, after he's put away the suit and the Blackberry, after the rest of the neighborhood has gone to sleep, he becomes a secret trapeze artist, flying brilliantly over the street in the wee small hours, lit only by moonbeams, porch lamps, and the glowing passion of the insomniac widow next door who watches from her kitchen window...

But then again, I tend to idealize. It's just a swing, right?

17 comments:

Birdman said...

Wow! Now, that is the longest set of swing ropes I have ever seen.Nice photo of this home.

Dixie Jane said...

From your childhood Bumper Book: How do you like to go up in the swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh I do think it the merriest thing
Ever a child can do.
In this case, the man with the suit and the Blackberry boards a swing that seems to be attached to the sky. As he entertains the insomniac widow looking from her kitchen window, he may bang himself against the side of the house or end up on the rooftop, like Santa Claus. I do wish him well and a fun ride.

Mister Earl said...

It's just advertising for the ones in the basement room that he calls "The Dungeon."

Judy Williams said...

I love Mom's comment.

The linear quality of this image is fabulous. The long verticals of the shutters, windows, and of course that unimaginably long swing rope.

You'd have to do some work to "get started" on that one!! I can see a little girl with eyelet edged socks, black patent mary janes and little ringlet pigtails smiling as she "pumps" back and forth.

Nice one!!!

Susan C said...

I wish I could put away the laptop and the worries and sneak into that yard for a ride on that swing one moonlit night.

altadenahiker said...

That last sounded very Cheever-esque, Laurie.

I personally don't think an adult needs any excuse to have a fantastic swing in the front yard. But then, I'm rather juvenile.

pasadenaadjacent said...

I see the apple didn't fall far from the Dixie Jane tree.

Yakpate said...

I'm with altadenahiker... no excuse is ever needed for having fun, regardless of age!

And LA... gorgeous story, especially the watching widow. When I was a child, flying high in a swing always inspired fantasies and daydreams. Hmmm... I bet swinging high would be a good cure for writer's block!

Linda Dove said...

As your sister mentioned, how does one ever get started with ropes like that?

Above the City said...

I like the one where the tree just kept growing and the owner just went and got longer rope. On and on. Year after year. A challenge to see who would give in first, the tree or the owner. Hope the owner's kids continue the swing!

dbdubya said...

This is the Cleaver family home. Many years ago Ward installed a swing in the camphor tree for his two boys, Wally and the Beaver. Ward and June are long gone, and Wally moved to St. Paul, Minnesota where he's a professional ice fisherman. The Beav still lives in the family home where he raised his two children, Rocky Raccoon and Bullwinkle. The Beav has kept the swing intact by adding a few feet of rope every few years. He needs help so he invites his brother's childhood friends, Eddie Haskell and Clarence "Lumpy" Rutherford over for a swing extension party. After a few beers, Lumpy and the Beav convince Eddie to climb the tree and add the extra rope. Eddie only fell out of the tree once, and wasn't seriously injured. The Beaver and his wife Martha like to invite his grandchildren over for playtime where the Beav reminisces over the good old days as his grandchildren fight over the swing.

And now you know the rest of the story.

Petrea said...

It's just too wonderful! I love it like crazy. (And you know how I love crazy.)

Jean Spitzer said...

Terrific photo and stories. It would be cool to see someone use this swing.

TheChieftess said...

Love the endocrinologist swinging in the moonlight and the Beav's swing extension parties!!! And Dixie Jane...I remember that poem!!! I think I might have been wearing eyelet socks and patent leather maryjane's when I heard it!!!

Natalie DeJohn said...

Great picture. I loved your stories. Is that the longest tree swing or what?

Mister Earl said...

So here's the deal. You know how when you get the swing really going high you wonder, "What would happen if I went so high that I went over the top and fell off?" So I'm thinking that these people made that swing so high they would never be in danger of going over the top. Or else that was just the only branch that would work for a swing.

Laurie said...

You guys are all kinds of awesome!!! Mister E gets points for the X-rated swing reference. (Shame on you, Mister E!) And DB, love the alternate Cleaver story. (Glad to see Beaver didn't end up with Judy Landers.) Mom, you know how I love that poem. Little Bit loves it, too. And Petrea, I love crazy like you love crazy!

Thanks for joining in, gang -- and for all the kind words. I think I'm getting carried away with these "what if..." scenarios. (Just take a look at my next post.)

Until tomorrow!