We often spent our childhood summers at Grandma’s family home. It was a 1840s ‘cottage’ on 20 acres in a small Ontario village. I always felt like it was heaven on earth and have many fond memories of the ‘farm’ (as we called it) and the village.
The house was located on the top of a ridge with a huge old maple tree at the edge of the hill…just perfect for the swing that Dad put up for us. This picture (an expansion of the one in my header) gives you an idea of the view from the hill-top. Dad hung a length of heavy rope to a branch hanging out over the hill and tied a wooden rod to the bottom of it. It could be used to sit on or to stand on like most any other swing.
However, the most adventurous swing was when you held on to the rod, then started running down the hill at an angle so that when you ran far enough and your feet left earth, you would swing way out over the hill in a circular path and then come back around to the top of the hill…kind of like a human boomerang. It was an easy way to feel like you were flying…very kid-friendly.
My little sister Nurse was about ten years old when she was attempting the circular swing. Now let me tell you, Nurse wasn’t exactly the most coordinated child in the world. Actually, she is probably the least coordinated person I’ve known. But she actually was doing quite a good job of completing this unique swing. We were encouraging her (or it is considered, egging her on?)…and then it happened.
My youngest brother Fireman was about six years old at the time. Fireman has always been a quick wit, which is a nice way of saying he has a ‘big mouth’ on him. Nurse had taken a good running start and had reached the peak of her swing which would put her about 15 feet or more above the hillside.
Fireman yelled out, “Let go-o-o-o!”
And she did. She was such an obedient child….Mom and Dad would have been so proud of her if they’d been there.
Well, somehow she did survive the fall with no broken bones. I think it may have been the cushion effect provided by all the ‘picker’ bushes she landed on.