An outdoor porch swing is such a fundamental fixture in the American experience. I don't really know why for sure. Maybe it is because young romance can blossom there, or because it is the perfect place to sip on an ice cold lemonade and watch a lazy summer day go by. In fact, one of my earliest fond memories is from the mid 60's when I was four years old, eager and excited. I was sitting on the porch swing with my family watching the classic American parade go by. So many vivid colors, big horses, candy, happy sounds, and of course, the waiving beauty queen. And I took it all in from an outdoor porch swing. There is just something classic about that scene. I guess most people have some sort of memory like that. I hope so.
Another great thing about a porch swing is how old friends can sit there for hours and talk about nothing; talk about anything. Or maybe it is because when you're on the swing it means that you are not out in the garden weeding, or in the house cleaning, or slaving over laundry.
To me, an outdoor porch swing is about relaxing from the cares of life and finding peace, even if only but for a moment. The way the gentle motion of the swing slows the clock is magical. I could sit and swing for hours and it would only seem like minutes. And as I think back over the years I realize that there is just something comforting about an outdoor porch swing, something wonderful and warm, like the homemade cookies and bread I'd enjoy when I visited my Grandma's house in my youth.
One of the things I remember most about being excited to visit Grandma was that I knew her swing was waiting patiently for someone to visit, someone to comfort. Sometimes it was the cat. Sometimes it was people. I remember the old chains that suspended it from the rafters, how they seemed so faithful and strong. Sometimes when I would really get swinging too fast I would be worried that they would break, but they never did. I remember swinging on it with her as we watched the day go by without a care in the world; just me and Grandma.
There was something about that old outdoor porch swing that the cat seemed to like as well. I noticed that the cat spend more time on it than anyone else. Maybe it liked the warmth of the sun-room and the quiet...who knows, but when we'd come along and want to perch there Ginger would slink away like only a cat displaced can. What a funny cat.
As I've grown older I've kept my fascination with swings and porches. My outdoor porch swing is made out of redwood and brings me a lot of happiness when I spend time on it with kids and friends. Someday I'll be a Grandma and will share some swing time with my own grandchild. I hope I can make it as memorable as my grandma did for me.
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